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Impressions: Love and Lies

Aug 13 // Karishma Roy
Of course, there is someone who seeks to defy the almighty government. An underdog who just wants to follow his heart, despite the penalties he will face for not completing his civic duty as a Japanese citizen. The penalties include a drop in social status (such as losing your job), not being able to enter the university of your choice, and other rewards from working hard. The hero of our series is fifteen-year-old Yukari Nejima, who falls into the trope of the below average dude in academics and sport. Despite the show featuring a lead with a generally dull personality, he managed to attract two hot and popular chicas. Chica number one is Misaka Takasaki, who Yukari has been in love with since he gave her half his eraser in class before they hit puberty. However, he didn’t have another conversation with her for the next five years. On the night he turns sixteen, he plucks up the courage to confess to her. And what do you know? Misaka has loved him for all these years too! Following this, they proceed to have a steamy make-out session with a white string of saliva connecting their mouths. Two things that I love about the characters is that their teenage horniness is emphasized in the very first episode (most romance anime I’ve seen take five seasons have them join pinky fingers) so this is great. Secondly, I find the term “love” is used way too arbitrarily in our world and in this one too. The “love” they profess to each other would be more believable and hold more substance if they actually knew one other better. I’m not denying that observing someone from afar gives you some insight into their personality, but for the sake of the story, it would have been more realistic if they had at least been acquaintances. Chica number two is Ririna Sanada. She is Yukari’s assigned marriage partner and a fascinating character. She has some tsundere qualities but does not completely fall into this trope. Even initially, I don't find Ririna cold or uncaring. She is socially awkward and refreshingly straightforward but through the series we see her make friends and come out of her shell a bit. Yukari and Ririna form a strange friendship that initially centers around a mutual goal to make team Yukari x Misaka work. Yep, Ririna is a sucker for romance stories and since she isn’t in love with Yukari (yet), she is cheering her supposed rival on. All three of them hang out together and have an interesting time (it’s not a threesome, don’t get your hopes up). This will, as you have already guessed, turn into a love triangle that I am very interested in watching. Yukari and Ririna's attachment slowly starts to escape the friend zone territory so right now the endgame is at fifty-fifty. I think both girls are too good for our main boy but I’m on Team Riri at the moment. Misaka, though, has a layer of mystery surrounding her that intrigues me. I don’t want to force too many spoilers but two strange things stick out about her. Before Yukari gets his notice that confirms Ririna is his assigned marriage partner – it is hand delivered by weird government officials who randomly turn up at his location late at night- he receives a text message that reads Misaka will be his future wife. But the message flashes for barely a second before his phone screen goes blank and the government authorities brush it off as a glitch – that sounds shady. Despite having turned sixteen a few months ago, Misaka has not yet received her notice, and her family has some weird connection with the government. Hopefully, as the series progresses, we'll be rewarded with tasty unraveling that features some dark past. The most obvious questions people will have about this societal structure revolves around the marginalized LGBTQ group. The answer will be revealed in the form of Yusuke Nisaka – a hot homosexual dude who also appears to have an interest in Yukari. Seriously, what is it about him!? So far (we’re at episode six) we don’t know too much about Yusuke’s family life or his past but I’m pretty sure he'll be causing some welcomed upheaval – start a revolution, dude! The premise of this story is gripping and it seems like it will be ambitiously tackling some important themes surrounding forced sexuality, the meaning of love, social control, advanced technology and perhaps other things I cannot currently think of. The art would be more appealing if not for the overly emphasized eyes. In terms of sound, I enjoy the ending song “Can’t you say” by Roys. The opening, “Kanashii Ureshii,” by Frederic is alright, and some of the background music does not fit the scenes well. While the characters aren’t anything special, I’m curious to see how their interactions and relationships will develop. Overall, this anime has me hooked enough to see it through to the end. If you’re a sucker for drama and hot action that has a healthy dose of ecchi, then this is for you.
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Both Are Forbidden
Love and Lies is set in an alternate reality where Japan has figured out a way to stop their socioeconomic issue of declining birth rates. How, you ask? They forbade love. In this new system, your marriage part...

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Kino's Journey

The new Kino's Journey features its star riding off into the sunset


The title speaks for itself
Aug 11
// Salvador G Rodiles
You know a title is gonna look good when it features the name "Beautiful World." In this case, we get to see the first trailer for the new Kino's Journey anime, Kino's Journey - The Beautiful World- The Animation, shows off i...
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Thunderbolt Fantasy

Satisfy your craving for puppet action with a Thunderbolt Fantasy side story


Will it expand on Gui Niao's backstory?
Aug 02
// Salvador G Rodiles
The original Thunderbolt Fantasy came off as a wonderful surprise for me since I didn't expect an action puppet show to become one of my favorite series of 2016. As we wait for its second season to premiere, the peo...
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Keijo

At long last, Keijo is now an actual sport


This needs to be in the Olympics
Jul 24
// Salvador G Rodiles
You know an event is big when an anime and manga series inspires people to turn a fictional activity into a real thing. In this case, a group of Keijo!!!!!!!! fans from Portugal decide to turn the title's signature ...

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FIGHT TOGETHER FOR HUMANITY
When humanity is under a grave threat, humans need to gather together to fight for the future! There is always great strength in numbers and with the human spirit, nothing is impossible. This month's loot anime is all about ...

Review: Little Witch Academia (Season 1)

Jul 05 // Nick Valdez
Little Witch Academia (Season 1)Director: Yoh YoshinariRating: TV-Y7Release Date: June 30, 2017 (Netflix) Akko's (Megumi Han/Erica Mendez) been dreaming of going to the Luna Nova Magical Academy ever since she was a child. Although she has no real magical abilities herself, she's been inspired by her idol Shiny Chariot, a famous witch entertainer who disappeared ten years ago, to become a great witch herself. The first season then follows Akko and her accidental friends, the studious Lotte (Fumiko Orikasa/Stephanie Sheh) and the poison lover Sucy (Michiyo Murase/Rachelle Heger), as they stumble and fumble through their first couple of weeks at the academy, unlock the mysteries of Shiny Chariot's Shiny Rod, and prove they're as good as everyone else.  You can't discuss a Studio Trigger series without getting passed the necessary praising of its animation. I was wondering how Trigger's fluid action animation would translate into a world with a tone completely offset from what they've done in the past, and it seems the choice was to embrace a more slapstick vibe. Drawing influence from everything from, uh, Pawn Stars to Looney Tunes (which was super noticeable when Akko accidentally gave herself rabbit ears), Little Witch Academia has tons of personality in every frame. It's slightly reflective of that art design philosophy where as long as you can recognize the character, they're on model. Trigger's most prominent squash and stretch techniques are used here primarily to emote. Akko is probably one of my favorite Trigger series characters because the team wasn't afraid to constantly make her look ridiculous. Giving her a true underdog charm that really helps elevate the standard formula most of episodes have.  As these first 13 episodes are about Akko's daily life in the school, most of the episodes share the same outline: Akko learns about a new thing, messes up the new thing, stumbles around until she fixes the new thing. It's super cute, yes, and doesn't devalue Akko as a character, but it really hammers home how standard of a hero's journey story the series is telling. Since the episodes tend to have a week-by-week pace (meaning most developments don't seem to carry over from episode to episode) rather than emphasize the greater story arc of the Shiny Rod and its seven super spells, some plot feels like filler. I'm sure some episodes are here for strictly character development, and it's great to see completely fantastical settings from time to time (such as "Akko's Adventures in Sucyland"), but I found myself not caring about whether or not Akko was going to pass her fish exam or whatever.  But even with a few weaker episodes, the strengths of smaller moments help give Little Witch Academia its own footprint. For a show about a magical school where crazy things are possible, at one point Akko chases a bee around a ballroom while "Flight of the Bumblebee" plays in the background. Rather than fuel utterly fantastical mayhem, the magic of the world is used to make situations more unworldly. This Looney Tunes-esque scene plays out in a natural fashion, oddly enough. This scene, goofy as it is, completely fits the series and Akko's character. Very few things are out of place. This grounded, yet otherworldly nature of the world eventually gives more weight to the more emotional beats toward the end of the season too.  Little Witch Academia, like its central character, has a ton of hidden potential. Since this first season was all about setting up the world-at-large, there's definitely something more interesting in its future. But as it stands, Academia is a fun, and light series that'll be worth watching for fans of great animation but light on plot you can truly invest in.  I can't quite recommend this series yet, but seeing as how it started as a short film, then a longer film adaptation, now a TV series, and even spreading to games, Little Witch Academia has an appeal not many other shows have. It's just so pure. 
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My name is Akko and I love to get Wakko
I've been anticipating Little Witch Academia for quite some time. Studio Trigger, the studio behind Kill la Kill and Space Patrol Luloco, produced a series created by Yoh Yoshinari, who's worked on&nb...

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Tokusatsu

TV Asahi's Super Hero Time block to get changed, families voice their concerns


Sounds like a new transformation
Jul 05
// Salvador G Rodiles
For a good while, the Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Precure franchise have been airing every Sunday on Japan's TV Asahi network from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., with the two toku shows being part of the Super Hero Time bl...
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Free Anime

PSA: Get started with some free shounen anime from the Microsoft store


Binge on some action
Jul 04
// Red Veron
You like free stuff? I love free stuff, especially if its legit and made super convenient. So here's some first seasons of some shounen action anime to get you started one some battle action goodness. What's shounen action, y...
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FLCL

FLCL 2 trailer is here for you to Furi your Kuris again


Will it live up to the classic?
Jul 02
// Red Veron
[Trailer has been fixed and is not blocked anymore] There was news earlier last year about a sequel to the beloved anime classic FLCL, which is an anime that many older anime fans above the age of 25 will very fondly re...

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanese TV Commercials Edition

Jul 02 // Red Veron
[embed]35722:6227:0[/embed] 1980s Japanese Commercials 46 minutes of 80s nostalgia here for you to get lost in or leave on in the background for you to glance up every now and then to get some quick entertainment. Pardon some of the weird YouTube copyright dodging techniques employed in the video.   [embed]35722:6228:0[/embed] 1990s Japanese Commercials It's kinda fascinating to see the difference in the video technology employed in these videos, some commercials are filmed on film while others are probably on some other format that gives off a different feel.   [embed]35722:6229:0[/embed] 2000s Japanese Commercials It's interesting to see all the familiar actors, fashion, and the early cellphones that were way advanced than most of the world from these videos.   [embed]35722:6226:0[/embed] Best of 2017 So Far Decades later and the Japanese are still great at this TV commercial game of wackiness.   Which one of these commercials are your favorite? Is your favorite not in the videos below? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Wacky and weird
If there's one thing that's a constant with what westerners say about Japan is that Japanese TV commercials tend to be wacky and weird. I like to think that they're done to be memorable, like who wouldn't forget about a comme...

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Did You Know Anime

Get schooled on My Hero Academia facts by Cartoon Hangover


But who is factually best girl/boy?
Jul 01
// Red Veron
Cartoon Hangover, a YouTube channel that about animation and original animated content just did one of their very informative 107 Facts video for superhero-themed shounen action anime My Hero Academia. If you haven't se...

Weekend Japanatainment - Disney Channel Japan Edition

Jun 25 // Red Veron
[embed]35701:6211:0[/embed] Phineas and Ferb The only animated entry on here, this opening sounds pretty faithful with the tone and sounds much better.   [embed]35701:6212:0[/embed] Wizards of Waverly Place This is that show that was "inspired by Harry Potter" that starred Selena Gomez way before she got famous for stuff like music (Sorry, there's only one Selena and it's not Selena Gomez). This opening song is like the English but in my very limited knowledge of Japanese pop music, I don't think I've heard of a Japanese song doing this style.   [embed]35701:6213:0[/embed] Suite Life of Zack and Cody I really happen to really like Japanese Ska and this song is already much better than the original. Hooch is crazy.   [embed]35701:6214:0[/embed] Suite Life on Deck This is my favorite out of all these songs and I would totally jam to this one.   [embed]35701:6215:0[/embed] Cory in the House The Legend. So Epic. Lit. Roasted. Fidget spinner. Dab. Whatever the kids say these days as an adjective for 'cool'.   [embed]35701:6217:0[/embed] "Call Me, Beep Me" - Beni Arashiro (Kim Possible OP Song Japanese Version) They really promoted the Japanese version of this song covered by Japanese R&B singer Beni Arashiro, who was really popular at the time this came out in 2005. I am just now faintly recollecting that this music video was shown in the US and the wikipedia article supports it. A good cover for a very uneventful and very CG green screen video that was a bit out of date at the time it came out.   [embed]35701:6216:0[/embed] Kim Possible The same song above by Beni Arashiro but in the opening animation itself.   Which one is your favorite (aside from Cory White House de Chou Taihen!, of course)? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, I WANNA KNOW!
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Best anime openings
Hey, this is something new you probably haven't seen before on the internet in the last two years and we're totally not beating a dead horse meme. Yes, Cory White House de Chou Taihen! is on here but that brilliant ...

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Beings beyond our comprehension
As with many manga and anime, beings of otherworldly origin are a common staple in the media featuring all kinds of crazy stuff from the supernatural and paranormal. This month's Loot Anime is all about those Unnatural force...

Review: Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion Blu-Ray Set

Jun 23 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35707:6208:0[/embed] Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion (Blu-ray [reviewed], DVD)Studio: Toei AnimationLicensed By: Shout! FactoryReleased: May 16, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $24.99 (Blu-Ray), $15.99 (DVD) Right from that start, things get interesting. Though nothing was shown about the Adventure 02 kids before the movie came out, which was very concerning; we finally got to see them—though they were defeated by an unknown enemy in the digital world. After the sequence, we get to see our favorite fearless leader Taichi Yagami, oversleeping as always and heading to his soccer practice. During the opening sequence, we get to hear a beautifully made version of Butterfly made by the now late Koji Wada, or if you watch the English dub, a bad rap song repeating the word Digimon indefinitely. The movie starts off a bit slow, we the gang just chilling at school with typical High School student predicaments, where everyone is doing their own thing and it’s hard to hang out as much. With Yamato a performance, and Taichi having a soccer game, Sora doesn’t know what to do as she wants to attend both but she’s racing against time. During that time, however, the Digimon, like previous times, could enter the human world, but this time they appear to be infected and causing destruction So far, it’s nothing we haven’t previously seen before, but it was still enjoyable. The action in the movie is pretty good, which starts with a throwback from the first episode from the first series Greymon Vs KuwagamonGreymon Vs Kuwagamon. Due to the infection, it seems that Kugawamon can make portals so during their fight they change locations a lot. Afterward, two more Kuwagamon show up, which all gang up on Greymon until the rest of the gang show up, in which we get to see all the Digimon in their Champion (or Adult in the Japanese version) forms back in action. I’m not too fond of the new Shinka/Evolution sequence, but it doesn’t bother me since Brave Heart was still part of it, albeit a new version just like Butterfly. We don’t see much action afterward until we get to the final battle between Omegamon and Alphamon, which was epic. Something that really bothered me was Taichi’s new interpretation as a character. As a Digimon trope, each leader, excluding Takato from Tamers, were always knuckleheads that went head on without thinking but with a lot of heart, which kept the team going. It’s understandable that Taichi is more conscious of his actions as he’s a second year High School student, but it still felt out of character. In fact, this cautiousness feels more like Yamato’s character, though it doesn’t mean that he was out of character either. Him wanting to fight to protect his friends is very much his character. The rest of the characters are okay so far; they act like we remember them. Hikari is the same lovely girl, Mimi is as fabulous as ever, and Koushiro is the same tech guy. Takeru, understandably, has changed as he's more interested in girls now. As for Jo, my gripe with him starts to evolve more so in the second movie than this one, so let’s save it for that review. My annoyance with how they handled his character does start from this movie, so it was worth noting.  This movie also introduces a few new characters, such as Meiko Mochizuki, a transfer student from Tottori whose is partnered with  Meicoomon, who is a Champion/Adult Digimon just like Tailmon. So far Meiko doesn't add much to the story aside from being Meicoomon's partner, who was being attacked by Alphamon for unknown reasons. If anything, she's just the cliche shy girl with glasses so far. We're also introduced to Daigo Nishijima and Maki Himekawa, who are members of Incorporated Administrative Agency, who aid the Chosen Children. They haven't gotten much character development yet.  While Digimon Adventure Tri is still being animated by Toei Animation like all previous Digimon series and movies, the artstyle has drastically changed. Instead of Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, who handled the original series, Digimon Adventure Tri’s artstyle is by Atsuya Uki who is known for 2012’s Tsuritama. Personally, while I would have preferred that Nakatsuru stayed on board, Uki’s design never bothered me and grew on me quickly. They are far from bad designs, but Nakatsuru’s design would have made this nostalgia ride better. I grew up with the Spanish dub when watching Digimon, since I was still in Peru when the first four series aired, but I still experienced the English dub and it grew on me, so I was bummed out when a lot of the original cast didn’t reprise their role. Luckily, Joshua Seth returned to reprise his role as Taichi Yagami. I try to be open about English dubs, but I personally didn’t like this one too much, particularly the newcomers. While there was some I liked, like Daigos’s. As much as I love Vic Mignogna’s performances, I didn’t like his as Yamato. There were parts, to me, that he sounded younger than he should. For the most part, all the returning cast did pretty good as their roles. To some, if may not be important, but it always bothered me how in some anime releases, they only include English subs for the original Japanese track and not the English dub. It’s often different from there’s always a few changes in dialogue. Luckily with this Blu-ray set, it includes subtitles for both the Japanese audio track and the English dub. It’s just lazy not to do both and much credit to Shout for taking the time to do so. Additionally, this set includes interviews with the English cast and director, as well as a look at the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of the movie. If you didn’t get the chance to watch Digimon Adventure Tri: Reunion in theaters for that one special day that they showed the movie, and want to see some of the old cast from the original two series back in action, then definitely get this Blu-ray set. If you can overlook the awful rap song that repeats “Digimon” over a hundred times, like the option to watch the movie in both languages and like special features including behind the scenes, then you won’t regret this purchase. 
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A New Di-Adventure Emerges!
One of my favorite franchises without a doubt has to be Digimon. I just have so many memories of it during my childhood. From watching Digimon Adventure to playing Digimon World on the original PlaySt...

Review: One Punch Man Blu-ray Set

Jun 21 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35704:6206:0[/embed] One Punch Man (Blu-ray)Studio: Mad HouseLicensed By: Viz MediaReleased: April 25, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $29.99 (Standard) and $34.99 (Limited Edition) If you read my past reviews, you know that I really enjoy the shonen genre, especially battle series. However, I especially appreciate series that can action-packed but at the same time not take itself seriously—exactly like Dr. Slump, which shares the same premise of a main character that can outclass their opponents effortlessly, though Arale can stop Saitama easily, as someone who can play soccer with planets, or even making cracks with playful punches, but I digress. The premise of One Punch Man is much better as it involves superheroes saving the planet from strange monsters and supervillains have been mysteriously appearing and causing disasters. Saitama, who is one of these superheroes, can easily defeat these monsters and villains with a single punch, hence the name. Naturally with that much power, as become of it and only gets truly excited when fighting strong opponents that can challenge him. Throughout the series, he encounters various superheroes, supervillains, and monsters and gains a disciple named Genos, who is a Cyborg with various modifications. They eventually join the Hero Association in order to gain official recognition. Expected from Madhouse, the animation is quite amazing, especially the battle scenes. Seeing Genos activate his Arms Mode or especially using his Incineration Cannons was nothing short of amazing, and its really shows how much talent the studio has. The artstyle was great, especially the change in Saitama depending his mood, which was goofier looking when he wasn’t serious, and more muscular and detailed when he engaged in battle. Throughout the years, English dub has somewhat grown on me. Naturally, I still prefer the original Japanese track, as I always enjoy the original language in any form of media. Having already seen One Punch Man when it was released in Japanese, I decided to watch it in English to experience the series in a different form. Both Max Mittelman, who voices Saitama, and Zach Aguilar, who voices Genos, did well voicing both characters. I felt like perhaps Genos voice could have been softer though it didn’t feel too unfitting, and I thought that Max sounded a bit too serious for Saitama. Nevertheless, both of their works were enjoyable. There are certain characters that I prefer their Japanese voice by far over their English counterpart, but the dub was overall enjoyable. One of the gripes I have with these Viz Media releases, as the same happened with the Boruto film, is that the English subtitles featured on this set it’s the same as the original Japanese option, and not it’s own, so, for the most part, the dialogue in the English dub doesn’t match the subtitle track. They are minor differences and you still get the overall idea of what is being said but it still feels a bit lazy on their behalf and hopefully it isn’t a problem in future releases. Though I didn’t include it in my Top 5 Anime of 2015 last year, One Punch Man was still up there for me. If you loved the series, consider investing in the Blu-ray set—it comes in a standard edition which comes with Blu-ray discs of the series, or the limited edition with comes with two Blu-ray discs, two DVD discs, 96 page full-color Booklet including Chapter 1 of the smash-hit manga, and six art cards, which can be used as the cover of the set. Definitely worth the purchase. 
One Punch Man photo
Okay
It really doesn’t feel like too long ago when One Punch Man first aired back in 2015, as I still remember it like yesterday when I was watching it alongside other Fall seasonals, like My Love Story. Honestly, not only b...

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Attack on Titan

See you next year, Attack on Titan


Get ready to bite your hand
Jun 18
// Salvador G Rodiles
As Attack on Titan Season 2 comes to an end, a bit of news about the series has surfaced. Instead of people having to wait a long time for the show to continue, we can expect the anime to return in 2018. In light of this news...

Beyond Fan Service: On the messed-up people of Scum's Wish

May 31 // Karishma Roy
  It’s actually refreshing to see an anime showcase sex boldly as opposed to the frequent, unrealistic portrayal of teenagers who orgasm aka “nose-bleed” at the thought of holding hands. Like, no, that does not normally happen. On the other hand, like some of the viewers, I felt that instead of devoting so much time to very awkward (cringey even) sex scenes, there could have been more of a focus on the emotional and mental consequences of the characters’ actions. It definitely lacked balance in this aspect but nevertheless, the series is still worth watching. We are taken through the journey of how Hanabi and Mugi deal with their pain and loneliness (often through sex) and eventually grow and develop into less unlikeable versions of themselves. I’ve seen that some viewers have been quick to label the female characters as “sluts” and “whores” but let’s not forget that the males are just as invested in sleeping around. More importantly, however, the sex here serves a larger purpose than mere shock value or fan service- it does contribute critically to the characters’ development. It’s not a strange idea that people may fill their hollow hearts with physical affection. The concept of friends-with-benefits and one-night stands is common in western culture and Japanese as well. Hanabi suffers from low self-esteem and abandonment issues. It’s no wonder that she gets lost trying to find her way to true love. In fact, a lot of us can relate to some sort of intense, emotionally charged teenage past. This girl is a damaged human being and that manifests (albeit annoyingly) in her focus on primitive desires. In the beginning, dealings between Mugi and Hanabi lack warmth but slowly they start to open up a small part of their hearts to each other. There’s a sense that the two of them start catching feelings for one other (totally did not see that coming) but they choose to ignore it and focus on their unobtainable adult love interests. This web of desire and possibility makes the story riveting. Hanabi gets a chance to assess the kind of person she is and makes decisions on what and who she wants to become. All the characters mentioned play into well-known tropes but their relationships with each other are what drives this show. Everyone, except that creepy cousin, transforms as a result of their interactions. For the most part, it is fascinating to watch although I found Akane’s character transformation unrealistic and very questionable. What the hell was Narumi thinking? Let’s talk about this biatch for a minute – she is by far the most twisted and fascinating one. Akane seems to derive pleasure from being the target of other women's jealousy. She sleeps with men (and underage boys) who are either in relationships or are wanted by someone else. There is a sadistically childish streak about wanting to essentially “steal” what isn’t her’s and Mugi was observant enough to figure her out as quickly as he did. Do people like her actually exist in real life!? In the end, she grows out of this toxic way of thinking which is great but I kind of wished she had an STD or prison sentence to go along with the new mindset. Other than this, I was very happy with the ending (especially Hanabi’s) because it was pleasantly realistic. The art was neat with an appealing soft colour palette and animation was fluid – every emotion was conveyed with exquisite clarity. The feels do punch you right in the gut. The soundtrack, both the opening - "Uso no Hibana" by 96 Neko - and the ending - "Heikosen" by Sayuri - are major hits among the fans. I listen to it on repeat most days! I rate this anime highly despite being unable to relate to or like most of the characters. I think that the idea of needing to empathise with every main character is limiting and one of the main reasons I watch anime, TV-shows or read books is to expand my knowledge on different fronts including religion, sexuality, culture, way of life etc.… so yeah. Should you watch it? Well, it’s a heavy, dark and sexual series where the tags “lust” and “obsession” would be more accurate than romance. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then go for it. My only advice would be to watch it privately with your headphones connected. P.S. I saw that people were comparing this anime to School Days and yes, that was equally messed up but in a different way. Scum’s Wish is purely psychological and emotional – no-one gets hurt physically, and it’s a much better watch.
Scum's Wish photo
What are your sinful desires?
Scum’s Wish is twelve episodes of a mature, romantic and psychological drama set at a Japanese high school. I will emphasise the “psychological” tag because this series is one hell of a m...

Review: Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-ray Set

Apr 03 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35667:6197:0[/embed] Boruto: Naruto the Movie (Blu-ray [reviewed], DVD)Studio: Studio PierrotLicensed By: Viz MediaReleased: March 28, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $29.99 The Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack comes with both the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the movie. It also includes special features such as storyboards, showing how the movie was made, a clean version of the ending sequence—meaning no credits shown so you can enjoy the animation sequence, the Japanese trailers, artwork and The Day Naruto Became Hokage OVA, which debut in the Japanese limited edition of the movie, and released in North America two weeks prior this Blu-ray release.  The movie comes with an English audio track, English audio track with English subtitles, and the original Japanese audio track with English subtitles. My problem with the English with English subtitles option is that it does not match the dialogue from the English audio and most likely it's the same subtitles from the Japanese version, which is very lazy. Including the Japanese version with no subtitles would have been nice as well as there isn't a logical reason not to include it. If you're familiar with the English dub, the quality in this one is no different from the past. I personally like it.  If you missed out watching the movie in theaters (though by now you probably watched it by other means), or are a fan of the English dub and was waiting for the English release, then you should definitely get this set. The extra content is definitely a nice bonus and it will give you everything you need to know before the Boruto series debuts this anime season. 
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The New Generation hits Blu-Ray!
It's incredible how fast time flies. I remember like it was yesterday when I wrote my review for Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which was also my first piece on Japanator. You can read the full review here. Considering the movie c...

Annotated Anime: Tiger Mask W episodes 23-25

Apr 03 // Soul Tsukino
Episode 23 It's time for War Games! Well, not the war games long time wrestling fans think of when you use that name. This isn't two rings wrapped in a cage. This is something different. So different that everyone who is entering doesn't know what it actually is other than some sort of tournament where the winner challenges for the GWM World Title and gets a $1 million prize. The Third will be participating at his insistence and the challenge is open to anyone. Everyone else is hatching out their plans. Nagata gathers together a bunch of the New Japan guys saying they needed to work together. Wakamatsu wants to join, but Yuji says that only previous champions who have been in a GWM ring qualify. Not only do we see Gedo for the first time this series, but Naito does another one of his mysterious appearances and says he will be there, but he has no interest in working with the others. Meanwhile, Tiger is left scrambling a bit. Since he is freelance, he really doesn't have anyone else to team up with in this thing, that is until he remembers one other person. Fukuwara Mask. Fukuwara is still back in the village he helped last time and agrees to enter if he gets a cut of the money.   We then see what these guys are up against. Oh boy... we are entering Kinnikuman territory again. The rules are this. All the fighters start on the floor and fight each other. If someone scores a pinfall (being counted by Drones of all things. How Vanguard of them) they get to move up to the first ring. If you beat someone there, you move up a level. The fight goes on until there are two people in the top ring who will then fight for the money and the title. The third announces he is putting the belt on the line against anyone who beats him. Bonus! Besides the NJPW guys, Tiger, and Fukuwara, and The Third, we have Tiger The Dark and Kevin Andersen, Yellow Devil, The Metal Brothers, and a bazillion other guys.   The bell rings and we are off as everyone starts plotting and squaring off. The Third scores the first victory and walks right up to the next level. He's the guy to beat! The set up is bizarre and once again stretches the suspension of disbelief, but it does make for a good set up. With so many characters all gunning for the same thing, it makes me want to watch more. It gives us a clear path now that we are winding up season 2 and it gives us something to look forward too! Episode 24 We are still at war as everyone is still fighting it out for a shot at the GWM title and a million bucks at the Max Dome and GWM's War Game. There is a lot going on! Tiger the Dark's main goal is Yellow Devil. After a brief skirmish where Kevin saves Dark's ass, Dark finds him and start beating on him, even though Yellow Devil is not fighting back. We find out in a conversation with Miss X and her assistant Lady, that The Third was the one who ordered Yellow Devil be used in this match. That Tiger the Dark gets worked up when he sees Yellow Devil. I'm not the only one who suspects who The Third really is and that is a major plot reveal in that direction isn't it? Dark finally pins Yellow Devil and pulls off his mask.   Poor Mikasa once again. Poor guy just gets in way over his head. Speaking of, Dragon Young sneaks into the battle and scores a victory to ascend up to the next level of the fight and The Third. Feisty as Wakamatsu is, it doesn't go well.   The Third stays one step ahead as he goes on as the others fight to get to the second level. We don't see every individual advance but with The Third at the third level, Tiger, Tiger the Dark, Fukuwara, Kevin, Tanahashi, Okada, Naito are amongst those that get to the next level. Tiger and Fukuwara then get pins but as they are going to the next level, Tiger goes to save Tanahashi and Fukuwara fights The Third alone.  \ And they recognize each other?!? This is another of those plot points I really hope they expand on. Did they train together? Fight each other? Why does it seem like there is way more to Fukuwara mask than just comedy relief? The fight boils down to the Third and Naito and Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark. Naito does a decent job and gets some offense in, but one brainbuster later and The Third goes on. Tiger gets part of his finisher in on Tiger The Dark, but Dark counters. With some help from Kevin, Dark gets the Dark Driver on Tiger Mask and ends his run to the surprise of EVERYONE. We get a break as Tiger the Dark recovers in the locker room as a lifeless Tiger Mask is carted away. Well, this certainly had action! A lot going on here but if you kept up with who was in what ring and level you did alright.  Sure, the concept is a far fetched one, but within its realm, this episode carried things out very well. I did not expect that ending and makes me want to see where this goes in the next episode. Like I've said before when this show is on track it is really good with the action and story, but it can go off the rails so easily. If they stay on point this could make for a fun season 2 finale. Episode 25 Wow. That's the best I can say about this episode. In the locker room as Tiger Mask regains consciousness. Fukuwara Mask and Haruna are there with him. During the conversation, Fukuwara Mask tells Tiger that The Third is Yellow Devil and Tiger reveals to him why he is after Yellow Devil. Tiger is pissed and goes to fight Yellow Devil but Fukuwara sternly tells him to sit down and Tiger the Dark won the right for this fight. In the other locker room Takuma is getting looked over and after a brief press conference, the Reporter tells him that the Yellow Devil of 3 years ago disappeared but that is when The Third arrived and that they are the same person. The match begins as Tiger asks The Third straight out if he was Yellow Devil. He challenges the Third for his Mask and the Third goes for it. Loser loses his Mask. Miss X doesn't want it to happen but The Third demands it. The match itself is about as you'd expect. Dark beats him for a while but it turns cut to be part of Third's plan. He uses Yellow Devil's moves on Dark and when he goes for the Devil driver (that injured Daisuke 3 years ago), Dark counters. However, it doesn't last long as the Third starts using different moves until he puts Dark's legs in a figure four and then picks him up and drives him down, breaking his legs and knocking him out. The Third rips Dark's mask off and he is revealed as Takuma to both Daisuke at home, and Tiger Mask in the stands. As he walks away The Third tells Miss X that he is actually the grandson of the original Tiger The Great from the original series and that when two tigers meet, the power is made clear of the winner. Meanwhile, as Takuma is being stretchered out, Tiger Mask runs up to him and tells him he is Naoto. Kevin then goes ballistic telling tiger Mask it was his fault that Tiger the Dark was hurt and he could have won if it wasn't for him. Takuma is whisked away in an ambulance as a crestfallen Tiger Mask stands alone.   This was an amazing show. It got to the point and didn't screw around. No more mystery and running around not knowing what is going on anymore. This is a great set up for a third season hopefully built around making Tiger Mask stronger in revenge against the Third for all he's done. Hopefully, it means the episodes fro here on in won't waste our time anymore.  
Tiger Mask W photo
The War Game!
We are nearing the end of the second season and it looks like The Third has emerged as the new power player for the GWM. Tiger the Dark is back on the active GWM roster and despite the ongoing goofiness of the relationship with Ruriko, Tiger Mask is still chugging along. As we get to another crucial point in the series, let's see where things go.

April Fools' Day photo
April Fools' Day

Here's some of April Fools' Day '17's anime and tokusatsu industry announcements


Why do they make us suffer?
Apr 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's one thing about April Fools' Day that brings despair to the heart of people everywhere, it's the fake announcements that companies make on this faithful day of pranks. While we know they're not true, most of these segments can hit us hard since they'll likely never come true. In light of this yearly ritual, I posted some of the anime and toku announcements that made my day.

Review: Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa)

Apr 02 // Christian Chiok
Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) Studio: CoMix Wave Films Licensed by: FUNimation Release Date: August 26, 2016 (Japan), April 7, 2017 (North America) The movie introduces us to Mitsuha, a high school girl living in the fictional town of Itomori, who is tired of her life in the countryside and wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in her next life. Next thing we see Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, who wakes up and realizes that he is Mitsuha, who somehow switched bodies with Taki. When both Mitsuha and Taki realized that they have switched bodies, they start communicating with each other by leaving notes on paper or leaving memos in each other's phones. As time goes on, they become used to the body swap and start intervening in each other's lives, like Mitsuha becoming more popular in school and Taki scoring a date with his female coworker, Miki Okudera While the movie starts off comedic, it takes a more dramatic turn during the second half of the movie. After his unsuccessful date with Okudera, Taki decided to contact Mitsuha but failed. He later finds that they have stopped switching bodies and eventually decides to visit Mitsuha in her hometown in the Hida region, with no information of where she lives and relying solely on the sketches of the village's scenery he has drawn from memory. With no luck finding the place, he decides to go back to Tokyo, until a restaurant server recognizes the town in Taki's sketch as Itomori. He is then told what happened to Itomori three years ago, in which is when the movie takes its dramatic turn. [embed]35666:6196:0[/embed] Your Name is kind of complex movie that will take more than one watch to fully understand. It took me watching the movie twice — both in Japanese and English, to fully understand it. There’s so much going on in the movie that just leaves you confused. Already understanding the movie because of my first watch, when watching it a second time, a lot of things started to make more sense to me, especially everything involving Mitsuha, such as her sake, rebirth and when they kept forgetting each other. The animation was fantastic, as expected from CoMix Wave Films, who were responsible for animating 5 Centimeters Per Second back in 2007. It felt so vivid, and it was beautiful to look at, especially certain scenes with the meteor. It’s going to be a great experience watching it in theaters. Both voice work and soundtrack were nothing short of amazing, especially the vocal songs by RADWIMPS. It added so much dramatic effect that made certain scenes feel more powerful. I also had the opportunity to watch the movie in English, which features an all-new English-language soundtrack created by RADWIMPS, who also were responsible for the original Japanese film soundtrack and score. I personally enjoyed the dub but the voices were a bit too soft for some of the characters, and just didn’t fit. As for the English soundtrack, while the original versions remain the best, RADWIMPS outdid themselves. Another thing is that with any translation, whether it’s anime or live action, the jokes, references, or language rules are lost in translation. Though it didn’t affect the movie too much. Your Name was a great movie, but it wasn’t as good or sad as people publicized it to be. Coming from someone who shed tears when reading One Piece or even actual tearjerkers like Clannad, the movie didn’t affect me emotionally at all, though there were sad parts.  Still, the concept presented in Your Name was unique and captivated me all the way through.  [This review is based on a commercial screening attended by the reviewer]
Your Name photo
Can I ask you your name?
By now, many of the anime fanbase has seen the critically acclaimed Your Name, or Kimi no na wa as known in Japan, which will hit theaters in North America this April. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Makot...

Gundam Twilight Axis photo
Gundam Twilight Axis

Look forward to more Universal Century anime goodness this June with Gundam Twilight Axis


Will 2017 be the Year of the Gundam?
Mar 26
// Salvador G Rodiles
With Gundam Thunderbolt's second season launching on GundamInfo, Sunrise revealed that they have another Gundam project in store for us. Just like the current Universal Century show, their new title, an adaptation of the...

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanese Food Edition

Mar 26 // Red Veron
[embed]35658:6186:0[/embed] "These 5 Japanese Food Stories Will Satisfy Every Appetite" A collection of stories about Japanese food that serve up some interesting and appetizing morsels of information.   [embed]35658:6187:0[/embed] "Inside Japan’s Only All-Female Sushi House" Apparently, it is unusual to have female sushi chefs. Find out why in the video above!   [embed]35658:6189:0[/embed] "Japanese Vending Machine Restaurant and Food Unboxing" Only in Japan features a self service restaurant that features vending machines where you can sit down and eat food from said machines.   [embed]35658:6190:0[/embed] "How to Make GOTCHA! PORK ROAST from Food Wars, Shougeki No Sama! Feast of Fiction" Feast of Fiction, a YouTube channel all about recreating food featured in fictional works, tries to make a dish from the anime Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. This video has them recreating "Gotcha! Pork Roast", which is an imitation pork roast as implied by the name of the dish. Notice that there are no clips of the anime are featured because of the excessive fan service nature of the show.   [embed]35658:6188:0[/embed] "KFC Christmas Japan: A Delicious Alternate Reality" Abroad in Japan tells us about the favorite story about Japan that comes up right around Christmas: The Japanese love affair between Christmas and Kentucky Fried Chicken.   Is there a Japanese food or a video of Japanese food you like? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Weekend Japanatainment photo
Binge on these J-Food videos
Food and culture are very intertwined, and Japan is one of those countries that likes to take it very seriously (Yes, more than you) which is probably why a lot of their food is known across the world (instant ramen counts). ...

Aniuta photo
Aniuta

ANiUTa to let otaku around the world stream their favorite music


Listen to your favorite Japanese Jams!
Mar 24
// Red Veron
Trying to stream Japanese music legally is not easiest thing for those who love those eastern jams that are outside Japan. The Japanese music industry is notorious for not making it easy to stream their music but it seems tha...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

A few minutes of Ghost in the Shell to watch and/or judge


That wall-run, though
Mar 23
// Josh Tolentino
There's just a week to go until Ghost in the Shell heads off to theaters, and Paramount is betting that at least some folks will still want to see the film, even after they give away five whole minutes of it.  Embed...
Ghost Stories photo
Ghost Stories

Did You Know Anime tells us how the Ghost Stories dub turned spooky to funny


NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR CHILDREN
Mar 18
// Red Veron
If you've been around anime circles in the last decade, you might have heard of the Ghost Stories US English dub. This English-language dub is not like your usual dub where they localize and translate the anime to be und...
Typhoon Noruda photo
Typhoon Noruda

Typhoon Noruda to hit US via Sentai Filmworks


A storm is coming
Mar 18
// Red Veron
Sentai Filmworks is bringing the film Typhoon Noruda to US shores, the 2015 movie is directed by former Studio Ghibli animator Yujio Arai ( From Up On Poppy Hill, Secret World of Arriety). Its character designer and...
Eureka Seven photo
Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven shreds the skies with giant mechs again in new movie trilogy


Energy Surfing Robots
Mar 17
// Red Veron
12 years ago, Eureka Seven first introduced us to giant mecha that can surf giant waves of invisible energy waves in the sky. This year, a new film trilogy based on Eureka Seven will start with the first film named Eureka Sev...
Touhou photo
Touhou

Friendships are put to the test in Memories of Phantasm's eighth episode


Why, Reimu, why?
Mar 15
// Salvador G Rodiles
Now that Manpukujinja has sold his share of Fantasy Kaleidoscope ~The Memories of Phantasm~ disks at the last Comiket in December. the eighth episode of the group's Touhou doujin anime has officially landed on their YouT...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell gets carried away on its own memes


'I Am Meme-jor'
Mar 14
// Josh Tolentino
Is there anything more Ghost in the Shell than something getting utterly dragged by the memes it helped spawn? Heck, that's basically the plot of Standalone Complex, when you think about it. Of course, successful marketi...

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