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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 12 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 12
by Jeff Chuang

Last time on Shirobako, the final episode of Exodus is in trouble as Aoi cannot find enough animators to complete the complex and difficult animations needed for the climatic moment. This week, in a stroke of fortune, Aoi runs into a particular animation veteran--or god to some--by the name of Kanno, who directed a popular show called Ava that aired in 1995. 

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Japanator's Winter 2015 Anime Preview Guide! photo
Japanator's Winter 2015 Anime Preview Guide!
by Josh Tolentino

Winter may be upon us, and as the weather cools, it's the perfect time to curl up by the fire or stick your legs under the kotatsu and let the Japanese cartoons roll! This is Japanator's official Winter 2015 Anime Preview Guide!

As ever, we're here to dig deep into the dozens-strong animated offerings straight from Glorious Nippon, to separate the wheat from the chaff and tell you just what might be worth watching, as well as to tell you what we'll be keeping an eye on ourselves.

This winter seems thankfully light in total new series count, with a few standouts, a lot of sequels both widely anticipated and out of left field, and some intriguing newcomers. Let's check 'em out!

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Lantis Fest Vegas: Interview with Choucho photo
Lantis Fest Vegas: Interview with Choucho
by Jeff Chuang

Japanator got to ask Choucho a few questions over email! The self-starting anisong artist is now attached to a bunch of great shows and her melodic tones make them all the more memorable, like Girls und Panzer and Gargantia on the Verderous Planet. Big thanks to Lantis Festival for making this interview possible!

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Japanator Awards 2014: Salís Top 3 Toku Shows photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Salís Top 3 Toku Shows
by Salvador GRodiles

Due to there being a short amount of tokusatsu airing on television these days, I was on the fence on doing a list about my favorite hero shows for the year. Compare to the 70s and 80s, there aren't that many shows airing besides the usual Super Sentai and Kamen Rider programs. While Garo has been receiving more installments lately, there still isn't enough content to warrant a special list-- even if the Ultra series releases a new series here and there. However, there are a few instances where we’re surprised with some unexpected projects like Akibaranger and After V, which means that there are some instances where the medium receives more stuff. Combined with a few original toku films that enter the scene once in a while, the tokusatsu industry still has some form of a fighting chance in this day and age; thus granting the medium the right to appear in its own special list.

Anyway, let’s get ready to transform, as we take a look at the top three toku shows that quenched my thirst for justice during 2014. As a heads-up, I’m only doing one series per franchise, since it wouldn’t be fair for the other contenders.

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Japanator Awards 2014: Sal's Top 5 photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Sal's Top 5
by Salvador GRodiles

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. While I didn’t get to watch a lot of anime shows during the year, there were still a few titles that brought joy to my life. I guess you could say that I was lucky with the choices that I made throughout the year. Also, I blame my obsession with heroes who vanquish evil while wearing spandex and/or leather suits, since I could’ve been keeping up with more anime titles instead. Curses! Just kidding.

With introductions out of the way, it’s time to get this show on the road.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 12 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 12
by Josh Tolentino

Another week, another installment of my third-best anime of 2014. But as a fitting Christmas Eve present (the episode went live on December 24th), we get to unwrap the lovely gift that is the timely arrival of Meijin Kawaguchi III, and his legendary Gunpla, the Amazing Red Warrior.

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Japanator Awards 2014: Jeff's Top 5 photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Jeff's Top 5
by Jeff Chuang

It was a great 2014 in terms of the anime mill--each season offered something pretty special, and a wide variety of interesting titles. Still, a handful of titles rose to the occasion for me, and I didn't have much of a problem doing a top 5 or 6. I'll pull my hair out if you asked me to do a top 10, since there are a dozen shows that will compete for the remaining 4-5 spots; it's that kind of a year. And if my taste in anime was wider and I had more time in 2014 to watch more shows, it would have been impossible to do a top 10. There were so many solid shows in so many different categories. Anyways, let's get started.

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Happy Holidays from Japanator photo
Happy Holidays from Japanator
by Hiroko Yamamura

Can you believe it's only a matter of days until the year is almost over? 2014 just came and went like it was nothing, however it was still one for the record books. We can't wait to share with you all the fun stuff we have planned for 2015, and the new faces we can't wait to introduce you to.

From the bottom of my heart, and from everyone on staff here at Japanator, we would like to thank you for your continued support. We consider our readers no less than friends, and look forward to enjoy several more years of banter, otaku-flexing, and good old fashioned debate. Without you guys, I would basically be talking about weird Japanese stuff to my dog, who is already pretty sick of me at this point.

Now for the important part. What swag did you guys get? Lemme see the good stuff! 

Did any of you get the PG Unicorn kit? If you did, I'm on my way over.

 

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Japanator Awards 2014: Josh's Top 5 photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Josh's Top 5
by Josh Tolentino

It's that time of the year, everyone. That time that tells us to think back on the year that just passed us by, and see what of it was best worth remembering. Memories made, lessons learned, and most importantly, Japanese cartoons watched. It's the 2014 Japanator Awards!

Well, "awards" may be something of a misnomer this year, as we're going personal this 2014. This year, we're each picking out a handful of our favorite artifacts from Japan's pop-cultural landscape. Given what's usually covered on Japanator, those favorites are likely to be anime television series, but we could be picking movies, live-action shows, or what-have you. Whatever it took to make 2014 a year worth remembering is fair game.

So let's get on with it!

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Final Impressions: Garo: Makai no Hana photo
Final Impressions: Garo: Makai no Hana
by Salvador GRodiles

When Keita Amemiya decided to return to the Garo franchise, this gave the show's fourth season the opportunity to go back to its roots, as the detailed costumes made a triumphant return. Despite the great callbacks to the franchise's early installments, Garo: Makai no Hana suffered from a few issues where the Horrors weren't as interesting as the ones from the previous seasons. However, these mishaps were minor, since a majority of the show’s episodes featured some great themes and monsters.

Seeing that Garo and Garo: Makai Senki both featured some amazing final battles, it’s going to take a lot of work for Garo: Makai no Hana to impress us in the long run. Of course, this will determine whether Raiga is capable of becoming a great Golden Knight that'll bring hope to mankind.

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 11 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 11
by Jeff Chuang

If you told me that an anime about working in the animation industry will give you one hell of a cliffhanger, I would not have believed you. That's because nobody would ordinarily associate a matter-of-fact approach to real life with page-turning strategies employed largely by pulp manga and daytime soap. It turns out Shirobako decided to show me otherwise.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 11 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 11
by Josh Tolentino

With the team high on the sweet taste of victory, we take a break from the road to the national championship for the customary training section. This is where we learn just what the Try Fighters are up against, now that they're playing in the big leagues.

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