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Karen Mead
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Moving on, and maybe forward?

I wanted to use "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish," as my going-away title, but silly Elliot beat me to the punch. Now this dumb mermaid sketch has no context, no context AT ALL! Oh well. So, here I am, finding myself leaving Japanator...

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Review: Princess Nine

At the beginning, I loved Princess Nine. It may be a cliche to say "I laughed, I cried!", but the fact is, I really did laugh and cry. The show seemed to be capable of doing something nigh-impossible: present a story unabashedly about girl ...

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Jtor AM 30: A Farewell to Bickering

It's the last episode of Jtor AM -- at least in this incarnation -- so we spend half of it arguing about astronomy...as you do. Somewhere in between telling each other to Check our Planetude, we still find the time to discuss all our favori...

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Review: Ranma 1/2 Set 1

The wacky ensemble comedy of Ranma 1/2 occupies an interesting niche in Western anime fandom. The show wasn't likely to be someone's "first anime," in the way that contemporaries Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z generally were, but it was...

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Jtor AM 29: Mocking Objectivism With Friends

This week, Tim continues his strange vendetta against Canadians, while the rest of the cast tries to make sense of the increasingly incomprehensible The Irregular At Magic High School. In other news, Hase from One Week Friends is missing an...

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Annotated Anime: Brynhildr in the Darkness 4

Okay guys, the honeymoon is over. After being on a total Brynhildr high last week, the show just had to go and do something annoying -- actually, a whole bunch of annoying things -- and now I'm able to evaluate it like a rational human...

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Review: Blast of Tempest S2

There's something inscrutable about Blast of Tempest. Even now that I've had a few days to digest everything and figure out the answers to most of my lingering story questions, I still feel that there's something about the show that I don't...

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Annotated Anime: Brynhildr in the Darkness 3

This episode is full of super-convenient plot elements that I am nevertheless prepared to forgive. A random fire razes Kuroha and Kana's house, destroying what little of their medication remained? Contrived, but I will forgive it. Murakami ...

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Annotated Anime: Selector Infected WIXOSS 3

The show wastes no time delivering on the double face-off we were promised, only it's not as exciting as I would have hoped. Yuzuki loses hard to Akira because she's an idiot, while Ruko wins because she's been practicing WIXOSS every night...

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First Impressions: Nanana's Buried Treasure

This show probably sounds like a really good idea on paper. It's filled with cool concepts like treasure hunting and classrooms that attack you until you solve puzzles, but it's also filled with multiple girls in maid outfits and tons of st...

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Jtor AM 27: Are they going to school with ghosts?

This week, some staff members who shall remain nameless would rather have a Game of Thrones podcast then talk about silly Japanese cartoons all day. But alas, we are Japanator, not DaenerysTargaryenator, so we must persevere through a ...

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Annotated Anime: Selector Infected WIXOSS 2

In this episode we learn that Yuzuki's whole fixation on her twin brother Kazuki is even worse than we thought, but she gets a reprieve when the show introduces Akira, who is such an awful person that everyone else looks fantastic by compar...


Some Ai-Fi sketches

I haven't been that happy with how Ai-Fi's been coming out in the most recent Adventures of Ai-Fi strips, so I spent a little while today doodling her to try to get a feel for what she should look like. I keep forgetting to make her chi...

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The Adventures of Ai-Fi 5

When we last left our favorite humanoid Japanator android, she had acquired a DVD copy of the anime masterpiece Bible Black. After looking up the show in her extensive, internal anime database, she is faced with a difficult decision.

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First Impressions: Baby Steps

I really wish I was good at tennis. It's really the only professional sport that I have a lot of familiarity with, since my Mom often watched professional tournaments on TV dating back to when I was very young. I remember seeing Michael Cha...

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Jtor AM 26: All those horrible shows you love

This week's show is longer than usual because we discuss pretty much every show that exists. Join Tim "I think this show is stupid and you're stupid for liking it," Sheehy, Ben "I'm too nice to say you're stupid but I'll just judge you sile...

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First Impressions: The Comic Artist and His Assistants

I wanted to like this. Maybe it's just due to super-fond memories of Doujin Work, but I have a bias towards any anime that happens to be about making comic books. So even though I knew this was going to be a series about a pervy comic artis...

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First Impressions: Selector Infected WIXOSS

While taking in WIXOSS, I couldn't stop thinking to myself, "This show really, REALLY wants to be Madoka Magica," and you know what? That's probably really unfair. After all, Madoka was a groundbreaking show; there's nothing wrong with taki...

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First Impressions: Haikyu!!

If we were ranking these new shows based on animation quality alone, Haikyu!! would be king of the mountain; out of everything I've seen so far this season, only the first episode Captain Earth has better animation...maybe. Possibly. T...

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Final Impressions: Nagi no Asukara

Nagi no Asukara was a show featuring intriguing ideas and frequently beautiful imagery, but it never quite gelled into a cohesive experience for me. For the show's entire 26-episode run, I kept feeling like the story was just on the precipi...

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Annotated Anime Roundup: Spring 2014 Week 1

Since we're in the middle of that weird season-opener grace period where most of the previous season's shows have ended, but all the new shows are still in First Impressions territory, the only episodes eligible for the roundup this week ar...

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Final Impressions: Soni-Ani: SUPER SONICO the Animation

It was patently obvious we didn't expect much from Soni-Ani: no one on Japanator even bothered to write up a First Impressions for it at the start of the season. We figured it would be a vapid, 12-episode long commercial for super-curvy Nit...

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Final Impressions: Engaged to the Unidentified

As much as I enjoyed watching Engaged to the Unidentified, the end of the series left me feeling more than a little conflicted. Seriously, I haven't felt this conflicted at a series conclusion since, er...Golden Time. Which was maybe a week...

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#Cancel Final Fantasy

It's hard to be a voice of dissent, and for years, I lacked the courage. I've always thought that the many, many regressive ideas disseminated by the Final Fantasy series of video games were beyond gross, but I was afraid to speak out; inst...

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Jtor AM 25: A date with a coffee maker

This week, I learned that Love Live, Data A Live, and Love Lab are actually three completely different shows, making this quite possibly the most educational episode of the podcast that we've ever recorded. However, this episode isn't mere ...

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Final Impressions: Wizard Barristers

In the final episode of everyone's favorite poorly-written supernatural law procedural, Cecil agrees to defend her worst enemy in court, because no one in this world has ever heard the phrase "conflict of interest." However, since it's all ...

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All Mai Husbandos

[WARNING: Spoilers for Kill La Kill episode 24, read at your own risk!] Kathy awoke that day as she did every morning: to the smell of an indulgent espresso beverage, freshly-brewed by a certain blond bartender of unparalleled manliness. "A...

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Announcement: All Fanfiction, All the Time

There's no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to come out and say it: anime writing is kind of terrible. Maybe it was good at one point, but these days it's all swimsuit episodes, school festival episodes, and being trapped inside a co...

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Jtor AM 24: Introducing The Custodian

To add some spice to this episode, I try to stir up drama by plotting a seed of disagreement about Space Dandy between Ben and Tim; however, instead of having a big fight, they both cordially agree that their levels of admiration and respec...

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Annotated Anime: Wizard Barristers, Ep. 11

It's been a few days and I still can't quite get over just how bad the animation in this episode was. Really, "bad" isn't quite accurate, because scenes have to actually exist before they can even qualify as badly animated; what this episod...

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Japanator's Spring 2014 Anime Preview Guide!

Spring hasn't really sprung for me in my neck of the woods yet, but it's officially the season of flower buds and abundant sunshine, no matter what my thermostat says. Fortunately, even if I have to wait a while for warm, beautiful weather ...

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The Adventures of Ai-Fi 4

Weekly 4Koma time. In this installment, Ai-Fi continues on her mission to acquire anime DVDs for bored Japanator editors to review...but at what cost?

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Jtor AM 23: It's possible Raku's hit his head more than once

This week the crew -- with the help of special guest, site founder Brad Rice -- tackles dubbed preview clips of debatable quality, the art style for the new Sailor Moon anime, quasi-erotic manga billboard controversies, and why NISA can dub...

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Ai Candy: Snow Days

Because we can never have enough pretty pictures here at Japanator, it's time for some Ai Candy: awesome fan art that we think you may enjoy. To kick things off, our first theme is characters frolicking in a winter wonderland, i.e. snow. No...

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First look at Attack on Titan in English

To build excitement for the official premiere of the Attack on Titan dub at Anime Boston -- and to tear the geekier portions of the internet asunder with talk over whether certain voices are "too deep" or "just deep enough," -- Funimation ...

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Annotated Anime: Wizard Barristers, Ep. 10

According to this episode, the police have the power to accuse you of any ridiculous crime they can possibly think of, regardless of a complete lack of evidence, and can also search your property (without a warrant) in an attempt to produce...

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The Adventures of Ai-Fi 3

Another Monday, another Ai-Fi 4Koma. I'm finding the four-panel format pretty challenging, because back in the day, I always used to draw comics in the form of full pages; it's hard to pare down my ideas so that they work in four panels. De...

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Don't forget about this year's Makoto Shinkai Day

Spring is almost here, and do you know what that means? You might say "the weather is warming up," but here in New York we still have snow on the forecast for Monday, so uh, NO. It is not necessarily warming up all that much. But it is time...

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Jtor AM 22: Reaching the summit

Friends, otaku, countrymen: we stand on the precipice of a new age in Japanese animated entertainment. Now that Super Sonico The Animation has produced the world's first objectively perfect anime episode, where do we go from here? Will prod...


About Karen Meadone of us since 8:19 PM on 10.21.2009

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on to the greener pastures of the internet, but I blogged for Japanator back before I ever touched newspapers, so I kind of killed that narrative. Someone else will have to write that story.

I'm a New Yorker, married to a fellow otaku named Wilson (he's the best) in an apartment filled with anime figures and Magic:The Gathering cards (I like one of those things more than the other.) When not working for Jtor, I also do freelance writing and some art for a few other clients. I also cook dinner and try not to burn it any more than absolutely necessary.

My personal blog can be found at Otakusphere. Also, if you happen to like urban fantasy, you can check out my Amazon author page to see the books I've written.