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12:15 PM on 03.24.2015

Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 34-35

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?

Josh Tolentino



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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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: 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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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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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 18-20 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 18-20
by Josh Tolentino

It's been a while since we last checked in with Gundam Build Fighters Try, but being able to watch the last few episodes in quick succession as I caught up to the latest developments has led me to one, inescapable conclusion:

Sekai might be the Try Fighters' ace, but Fumina is their MVP.

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Annotated Anime: One Piece 682 photo
Annotated Anime: One Piece 682
by Anthony Redgrave

Ahoy there Japanator! Ensign Redgrave reporting for duty. I'll be taking over the SS. Annotated Anime for One Piece so I hope you're ready. 

From last we left our heroes, the devious Doflamingo had started the hunger games within Dressrosa with the help of his string string fruit. Manipulating the natural greediness of pirates and criminals, he places bounties on our heroes with the highest amount being given to Usopp due to his God like status. 

Hit the jump to see how the Straw Hats rally to counter to Doflamingo's massacre.

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Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episodes 5-6 photo
Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episodes 5-6
by Josh Tolentino

Kantai Collection has an identity crisis. It's trying to split the difference between a splashy, substance-free fan-service fiesta for existing fans of the game it's based on, a more sedate genre piece featuring girls being way too nice to each other, and a weighty war drama befitting the violent and arguably tragic history of the real-life warships the characters channel the souls of.

That's been the apparent narrative of the show's in the first four episodes, as the sudden and unexpected loss of Kisaragi in episode three threw many expectations for a loop. Followed up with the overwhelming antics of episode four, no one was sure just where the pendulum would swing in the following episodes.

Now that we've approached the halfway mark, though, it seems that Kan Colle has picked its path.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 17 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 17
by Josh Tolentino

It's worth pointing out that among many similarities to other episodes in the series, this week's installment of Build Fighters Try is the second time they've spent the opening minutes on the puppy-love angle between Fumina, Sekai, Gyanko, and now Shia. As a fan of cute, dumb things, I can't help but like it, and anyone looking to Build Fighters for a serious war drama has long since been frightened off, so there's no problem there.

What IS a problem, though, is having sound effects in the opening sequence. Why do you do these things, Sunrise? When David Production did it to the openings for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure late into the Battle Tendency arc I thought it was just some kind of rookie mistake, but you've been making Gundam for several decades now. You should know better!

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 610-613 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 610-613
by Josh Tolentino

While it's been at least six weeks since the last time we checked in with Bleach, various publishing breaks and delays have given us just four-odd chapters to work with, and given the pace Bleach tends to move at, it feels like we've barely been gone at all.

Such a laid-back pace is well-suited to the series' place in the weekly Shonen JUMP roundup, but I'd hate to be the guy who only reads collected volumes, because that's a lot of paper to buy for comparatively little movement.

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Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episode 4 photo
Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episode 4
by Josh Tolentino

It's not always easy to accept when a show doesn't meet up with our expectations. We form a picture of what it "should be" in our heads, and when it goes in a different direction, one of two things usually happens:

1. We delight in the novelty of uncertainty.

2. We resent it not being what we wanted it to be.

Risking the #2 scenario is especially perilous when it comes to making a moe anime, as most otaku really don't watch these kinds of shows to be made anxious about the future. 

That in mind, it's not surprising that the sudden sinking of Kisaragi last week left a sour taste in many a Kan Colle fan's mouth. "What happened to my comfy show about cute boat girls?!", they asked all over the internet.

The answer it seems, was that it was all just waiting for Kongou to show up.

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