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12:00 PM on 10.18.2014

First Impressions: Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works

These day it's hard to imagine an active otaku who isn't at least passingly familiar with Fate/stay night, Type-MOON's juggernaut of a visual novel series.  I'm sure those sorts of folks exist, though, and the duty ...

Josh Tolentino


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Mistwalker Celebrates Terra Battle's 500K Downloads Milestone

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First Impressions: Gundam Build Fighters Try photo
First Impressions: Gundam Build Fighters Try
by Josh Tolentino

Gundam Build Fighters was a show aimed at children and designed to promote the toys Bandai wants them to build. It also happened to be the most refreshing Gundam show in years, and an love letter to Gundam's enduring legacy, as well as its oldest fans.

Now, here's Gundam Build Fighters Try, which is, for better or worse (though there's not much "worse" to this proposition, a second helping of all of the above.

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First Impressions: Terra Formars photo
First Impressions: Terra Formars
by Josh Tolentino

Let's get the obvious thing out of the way first: Terra Formars is not very good "Mars" fiction. The concept of Martian colonization and its myriad possibilities is just about the furthest thing from this show's mind, even three episodes in. But that's hardly a problem, because tough badasses have insect powers and use them to beat up cockroach versions of the Hulk.

Which is good enough for me.

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episodes 10-13 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episodes 10-13
by Salvador GRodiles

It may have happened sooner than expected, but Sword Art Online II is ready to deliver the final showdown between our heroes and Death Gun. While the right pieces were set in motion, the story decided to take it slow, as more talking invades the Phantom Bullet Arc’s last moments. Luckily, the show’s build-up throughout these past few episodes lead to an intense climax, as the storyline prepares for its resolution.

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 21-22 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 21-22
by Josh Tolentino

If the last couple of episodes seemed tailored towards characters who still hadn't forgiven Kakyoin for his actions way back in episode 2, this latest two-parter feels addressed to make Polnareff pay for his comparatively greater sins.

After all, dude got Avdol, one of anime's best black men, killed. He needs to suffer.

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 9 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 9
by Salvador GRodiles

As Sword Art Online II begins to imply that the Phantom Bullet Arc is coming to a close, things are starting to get intense around these parts. In the midst of this event, A-1 has fully recovered from their injuries, so that they can get ready to load up the big cannons. Since there are many important at play during these major moments, let's hope that the team hits their main target.

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 8 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 8
by Salvador GRodiles

It seems that A-1 might be in the clear right now. And to think that the BoB tournament was the key to helping Sword Art Online II move in the right direction. However, my main concern right now is that the Phantom Bullet Arc won't take up an entire season. Based on the direction the show is taking, this event might be the one to determine the storyline's actual length.

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 7 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 7
by Salvador GRodiles

Yikes. I never expected to be concerned about Sword Art Online II’s well-being. While there was a bit of hope for A-1 to get back on track, things are taking a slight turn for the worse with the way how they followed up on the show’s latest conflict. From the looks of it, the SAO II might be in a grim state until things pick up again.

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Annotated Anime: Hanayamata episodes 6-7 photo
Annotated Anime: Hanayamata episodes 6-7
by Jeff Chuang

When Hanayamata first introduced Yaya, she played with a band. If we logically assume the story is about the formation of a yosakoi club, then the band probably has to go. How does it happen? More importantly, how does Yaya's identity, which is wrapped up a lot around both her reputation and perception at school along with the band, resolve in such a way to further that club story?

I'm not sure if I like the way the plot resolves, but in the process there were some pretty heartful character development. Maybe it's okay for Hanayamata to keep things really simple. Let's see.

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 18-20 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 18-20
by Josh Tolentino

After a bit of a wait, we're back with more Stardust Crusaders, and things get kind of nuts. Of course, that's hardly something we should be surprised by in a series called JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

But anyway, onward, dear readers! Rally ho!

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 6 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 6
by Salvador GRodiles

Right when I was feeling comfortable with Sword Art Online II’s pacing, A-1 decides to speed things up a bit. One moment, the presentation’s going smooth, and all of a sudden, the show breezes through two battles before we get the chance to take in the action. Luckily, the episode's other parts were moving steadily, which means that the studio's increase in speed might not shorten the Phantom Bullet Arc's total episode count.

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 5 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 5
by Salvador GRodiles

At long last, Slow Art Online is ready for the moment that we've all been waiting for. It's finally time to see how A-1 handles the first fight that features you know who. In all seriousness, is this really the thing that we were looking forward to? Either way, if this battle contributes towards the show's progression, then our patience shall be rewarded.

Seeing that I haven’t demeaned SAO II for taking its sweet time, my new nickname for Sword Art Online II is meant to compliment the show’s current pacing.

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