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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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We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Ninjas, Zombies, and Hardships photo
We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Ninjas, Zombies, and Hardships
by Salvador GRodiles

Welcome to the second part of our interview with the one and only Bueno. In this installment, the man talks about his experience with creating tokusatsu and shooting porn. On top of that, we get to learn the dark secrets behind his involvement with Gaion Sigma, and how his ideas were stolen when a tokusatsu called Raidenmaru was born. Other than that, the guy reveals his inspirations for Gun Caliber, and we ask him the most important question in the world.

Things are about to get real in this interview, as Bueno continues his with story. In case you missed out on the first part of this segment, you can head over here to catch up on our chat with the guy.

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 14-15 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 14-15
by Jeff Chuang

Times like this I wish I have all the time in the world to drill into the last two episodes of Shirobako, because they are rich. I guess you might already guessed that to me, most every episode of Shirobako is rich in some ways, often more than one. In these two episodes, we cover the pre- and early production work that goes into an anime adaptation of a popular manga, and something much more precious.

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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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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 16 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 16
by Josh Tolentino

Despite its reputation for grit and mature storytelling about deep subjects like war and..stuff, the extended Gundam franchise is host to a great many ludicrous and silly things. For me, one of the silliest things about Gundam, especially the original Gundam series, is the Core Block System.

For those unfamiliar, it's that system that allows a little transforming plane (the "Core Fighter") to form the "abs" of the original Gundam, which would assemble the legs, head, and upper torso around it. Given the original series' reputation as pioneering a concept of giant robots in a military, wartime context, the Core Block System and its combining glory feels like a weird holdover from the Super Robot days, where every robot assembled itself with an eye towards spectacle more than practicality.

Thank goodness for Minato Sakai and his Build Busters teammates, then.

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We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Wushu, Porn Stars, and making it in Japan photo
We Chat With Gun Caliber's Bueno: Wushu, Porn Stars, and making it in Japan
by Salvador GRodiles

Gun Caliber: Bootleg Edition's stream may have left the scene, but Japanator was able to ask Bueno, the film's Director and main hero, some questions. I guess you could say that he's the Stephen Chow of tokusatsu. Also, his name is the Spanish word for "good," which means that he's destined for greatness.

Due to the amount of information that Bueno shared with us, this feature'll be split into three parts, since the interview is too big to be made into one post. That being said, the first feature will focus on Bueno's connections, and his adventures in Japan.

Join me below as we begin the first part of our interview with Garage Hero's founder. 

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Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episode 3 photo
Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episode 3
by Josh Tolentino

If you thought Kan Colle was just going to be about cute girls displacing not nearly enough water for their supposed channeling of old warship souls, episode 3 is here to toss some water on that notion. And it's not the magic water from a repair bucket either.

Indeed, it's episode 3 that takes what may be a hard left turn into unexpected-yet-historically-accurate drama, though at this early stage it's impossible to tell if it's a trend that will hold (thus threatening to make Kan Colle a more interesting TV series, or break, allowing it and its viewers to remain in safe, comfortable waters.

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 25-27 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 25-27
by Josh Tolentino

It's been far too long, but after its season-long hiatus, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has returned to the airwaves! 

And neither Joseph Joestar's Stand-user party nor the hardworking folks at David Production are wasting any time getting back in the saddle, as they dive into Egypt to hunt down Dio Brando once and for all.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 15 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 15
by Josh Tolentino

It hasn't even been 24 hours since the last Build Fighters Try recap, but let's get this train going. After all, we've finally arrived at...THE NATIONALS.

Let's fighting!

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Contest: Ring in the New Year with this Right Stuf giveaway! [Updated] photo
Contest: Ring in the New Year with this Right Stuf giveaway! [Updated]
by Josh Tolentino

[Update: The contest is over, and congratulations to Japanator Community Member Gnikdrazil! We'll be contacted soon at the email address you used to register to Japanator with more details!]

It's January 9th, but sometimes it just doesn't feel like the new year's quite begun yet, doesn't it? Maybe some brand-new, absolutely free anime box sets can wipe 2014's haze from your mind? Thanks to our friends at Right Stuf, your house for hot deals, you've got the opportunity to test the notion out!

From right this moment until January 16th at 23:30 CST, all you have to do is post your New Year's resolution in the comments for a chance to win copies of Space Adventure Cobra: The Original Series Part 1, Cat's Eye Season 1, and the just-released Fantastic Detective Labyrinth DVD Collection! Three hot box sets for the price of nada, and all you have to do is confess your plans for 2015.

Oh, you also have to comment using your Japanator account (and make one if you don't have one yet), and be living in the U.S. or Canada (sorry, international readers!). You've got just under six days to enter, so don't delay!

[Image courtesy Matataku]

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try eps. 13-14 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try eps. 13-14
by Josh Tolentino

Watching Build Fighters Try is fascinating, not just because it's a fun, well-produced piece of mecha entertainment, puppy love and Fumina reaction-face gallery, but also to compare it to the first Build Fighters season and see just how the Build Fighters brand has evolved over the weeks and months.

Sunrise's sophomore gunpla battle effort is both an effective continuation of its predecessor's legacy, but like its characters, mecha, and setting, it's also a different sort of beast, with different goals and ambitions.

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