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8:00 AM on 12.18.2014

Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 9-10

Our "imprisoned" director finds his creative spark, while Misa finds courage to get out of a prison of a different kind. A week later Aoi might be the key to help these the two to freedom, if she can overcome the most difficult task of them all. Shirobako, finally, gears up to the final episode...of Exodus.

Jeff Chuang


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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 7-8 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 7-8
by Jeff Chuang

Shirobako takes a step back in these latest two episodes to talk about our individual motivations. While it doesn't quite avoid all the usual pitfalls most 22-minute episodes of anime fall into when they tackle complicated and deep topics like this, it gave us a few good interwoven examples to draw on. At the same time, Shirobako never ceases to be educational. Maybe it's the cat therapy.

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Japanator Eats: Taste Japan video unboxing part I photo
Japanator Eats: Taste Japan video unboxing part I
by Hiroko Yamamura

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 lot of access to sweet and savory items from back home quite easily, but I know for some, the tastes of the east are not as easily aquired.

Here's where services like Taste Japan come into play. In the UK you can pay a monthly subscription fee of £15, and they will deliver you an exciting box of treats to your doorstep. The fine people of Taste Japan sent us a box for free to review, and of course I did not refuse an opportunity to stuff my fat face. 

In this first video we take a look at the contents of the shipment, in the follow up I'll be chowing down.

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Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episodes 4-7 photo
Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episodes 4-7
by Josh Tolentino

Christmas comes early to the world of Elder Tale, but the presents are far worse than any lump of coal, for the Santa Claus of this database is less a benevolent gift-giver than a violent death-bringer with a mad-on for Adventurers. What's to be done about this serial killer's depredations?! 

Call in the girls, that's what.

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Final Impressions: Kamen Rider Gaim photo
Final Impressions: Kamen Rider Gaim
by Salvador GRodiles

Back when it was announced that Urobuchi would become Kamen Rider Gaim’s Main Writer, it was certain that 2013’s Rider series was going to be an interesting tale. Despite Gaim being a children’s show, this restriction didn’t stop Gen the Butcher from using his knives to make the show's characters suffer. In fact, the aftermath resulted in a solid story that took us back to the early Heisei Rider shows where intense scenarios reigned supreme.

As Gaim’s final six episodes get ready to leave the stage, it time for us to bow down to the fruity performers before the curtains close for good.

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 6 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 6
by Josh Tolentino

Shirobako continues to be an important anime series for anyone that's interested in how their favorite Japanese cartoons are made. Not to say that it's some kind of primer for how the industry works, though it goes further deeper into the production  process than virtually any non-documentary work to date.

No, Shirobako's importance lies in using 2D, animated fictional characters to humanize the 3D, flesh-and-blood people that make anime.

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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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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 5 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 5
by Jeff Chuang

The story this week on Shirobako is complicated otaku-level hand wringing. Again. It's not particularly engaging unless you have a stake in the overall evolution of animation styles and methods in Japan. As someone who has lived through the chemical paint to digital paint transition, I'm more inclined to find the whole 3DCG discussion tiresome and I would rather talk about something else: Rinko Kobayakawa on the 3DS.

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Annotated Manga: Naruto chapters 699-700 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto chapters 699-700
by Josh Tolentino

....and that's that. 

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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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Morning Musume '14 in NYC photo
Morning Musume '14 in NYC
by Jeff Chuang

At their show in New York City's Best Buy Theater earlier this month, Morning Musume '14 brought not only their glamorous selves to the Big Apple, but droves of fans all across America. There are even travelers from up Canada and even from South America attending the show. The most glamorous of them all are the Japanese home crowd in NYC, transforming the pit area into a proper forest of King Blades--multi-color glowsticks powered by AAA batteries. It can probably land airplanes given the right conditions. 

Click on for a brief impression of their show and some pictures!

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 4 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 4
by Jeff Chuang

On her day off, Aoi the animation assistant meets up with her high school buddies and keep in touch. It sounds like just the thing a 20-something female working out in the big city would do on an off day. Except these people are anime otaku; and by that I don't even mean what passes for otaku in this part of the world: these are budding pros. Shirobako's take on girl talk is probably off the beaten track, just a little.

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