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Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 19 photo
Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 19
by Salvador GRodiles

The ToQ 6 Saga's about to wrap up, and ToQger’s ready to unveil Akira’s signature machine. Since our rainbow-loving hero repairs railroads for a living, the man’s blessed with a train that suits his position. Who knows, we might get to see a robot that actually looks cool.

Unlike the typical sixth Ranger‘s Mecha’s debut episode, Akira decides to do something that’ll surprise the other ToQger. As long as sparks don’t fly, then everything should be good for Akira's little adjustments to his sweet new ride.

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First Impressions: Hanayamata photo
First Impressions: Hanayamata
by Jeff Chuang

Hello there. I live in the state of New Jersey, here in the USA. Unfortunately my name is not Fountainstand and I've never heard of yosakoi until I first read about Hanayamata.

After doing a few Google searches, I found out that yosakoi is a modern take of the awa odori, where Japanese folk dancing meets modern, western-style dances. The result is something distinctly Japanese but it also looks a lot like hip hop and group cheerleading at times. Well, Wikipedia and Youtube are better subject matter experts than I on yosakoi, and frankly I'm more interested in Hanayamata and why is there a transfer student named Hana N. Fountainstand, hailing from Princeton, New Jersey.

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Annotated Tokusatsu: Kamen Rider Gaim episode 36 photo
Annotated Tokusatsu: Kamen Rider Gaim episode 36
by Salvador GRodiles

Holy moly! Did Kamen Rider Gaim just do what I think it did?

Since the show's plot has developed in a depressing way recently, I think we can all agree that there's no hope for anyone in this series. In fact, there’s no way in hell that Gaim will receive a happy ending, because we all know that Urobutchi doesn’t roll that way.

Whether it’s a bad or bittersweet ending, I’m certain that Gaim’s resolution will surprise and shock us when the curtains close. Hopefully, we won’t be too stressed out by the time the show’s story gets resolved.

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First Impressions: Glasslip photo
First Impressions: Glasslip
by Dae Lee

I've become a large fan of P.A. Works in the past year or two. The Eccentric Family and Nagi-Asu both proved to be among the top shows of their respective seasons, providing grounded drama in the midst of well-realized fantastical settings.


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First Impressions: Persona 4 the Golden Animation photo
First Impressions: Persona 4 the Golden Animation
by Dae Lee

Persona 4 is among the most addictive and stubborn video game properties of the past 4 years -- you couldn't get rid of it if you wanted to! A lightning in a bottle that continues to hook us in with spin-offs and now, a second anime retelling. But this time, we're going full-on New Game Plus.


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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 588 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 588
by Josh Tolentino

I was reading through a bunch of my old recaps for Bleach - reading your old writing is a great way to make sure you don't get too full of yourself - and realized that I spend a lot of time talking about Bleach in generalities, rather than tackling the specifics of a given chapter or episode.

Let's do that again for a bit, shall we?

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Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 684 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 684
by Josh Tolentino

It's time to consider what would actually happen if the above panel was more a certainty than a bait-and-switch. What if Naruto died?

Well, for one, we'd probably have to change the title to Obito or Sasuke or even Team 7 if they wanted to honor the whole crew. And then the ending would probably be pretty dark.

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Japan Cuts Roundup: Why Don't You Play the Eternal Zero in Hell? photo
Japan Cuts Roundup: Why Don't You Play the Eternal Zero in Hell?
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Tomorrow marks the official start of the 2014 Japan Cuts film festival, which means today starts our official roundup series. We're kicking things off with two of the biggest films to play at the festival, Sion Sono's brilliant Why Don't You Play in Hell and Takashi Yamazaki's not-so-good The Eternal Zero.

Since not all of the many Japanese films played at the New York Asian Film Festival make the crossover, I've added my thoughts on some of the more compelling NYAFF-only things to come out of Japan this festival season. They may have already come and gone, but you should definitely keep your eye out for them in the future.

So without further ado, let's get's get this party started.

[For the next couple of weeks, Japanator's sister site Flixist will be covering the 2014 Japan Cuts Film Festival. They will be rounding up their coverage here for your convenience. For their full coverage, click hereFor their coverage of the New York Asian Film Festival, which is a Japan Cuts partner, click here. Keep up with the Japanator roundups here.]

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First Impressions: Argevollen photo
First Impressions: Argevollen
by Josh Tolentino

If I were a less charitable and much lazier recapper, I'd point you to my First Impressions of Buddy Complex and call it a day. Heck, nearly all of it except the basic plot description still applies!

That's because Argevollen is "that" mecha anime of this season: It's that show which at first glance, feels like it could've been constructed automatically by some kind of Rube Goldberg machine designed to create products with no human intervention or input.

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Annotated Tokusatsu: Garo: Makai no Hana episode 13 photo
Annotated Tokusatsu: Garo: Makai no Hana episode 13
by Salvador GRodiles

Just as I predicted last time, Garo: Makai no Hana’s team didn't cut any corners in the show's production, as they fill our stomachs with more great visuals. On top of that, the series received a new opening theme that’s sung by a certain Anisong Band that everyone knows. In other words, we'll be jamming all Summer long!

Judging from the content that’s been presented so far, Garo Season 4’s ready to take things up a notch again. Hopefully, nothing'll go wrong again, since we’re focusing on the show’s main cast again.

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First Impressions: Akame ga Kill! photo
First Impressions: Akame ga Kill!
by Hiroko Yamamura

Like usual, I left it up to my lovely co-workers at Japanator to choose the anime I was going to watch this season. This technique has a few benefits and risks, as they might intentionally be setting me up a hellish few months for laughs, but it also keeps me a bit safe from the anime hype train. This summer Josh Totman threw Akame ga Kill! my way, which I have luckily read a few issues of. I haven't yet decided if knowing what is coming is a good thng or not.

The mighty Studio White Fox has taken the reigns on this one with Tears to Tiara and Ichigo 100% director Tomoki Kobayashi at the helm of the beloved manga adaptation. The series is known for its brutality and high body count, all while mixing in a healthy dose of moe, and sophomoric humor. Make no doubt this is not a horror series, this is honest to goodness shonen business. However, that doesn't mean that it won't still shock, tantalize, and entertain. I guess we have all summer to figure out how well it's worked.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 587 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 587
by Josh Tolentino

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Not a whole lot happens in any single chapter of Bleach. Oftentimes a given 16-20 page installment is little more than the next few steps in a fight, which can, at times, prove a challenge to recap in words, especially for a series that gets by on striking visuals and badass poses. 

Similarly, there's little here that happens in terms of plot movement, but Bleach does do something quite memorable, which is to remind us that it has a sense of humor.

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