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ep. review

My Love Story!! ‒ Episode 24

"My Love Story!! has consistently excelled by breaking all the rules for shojo romances. Here at the end, what note did the show decide to go out on?"
column

The X Button - Saber Rattling

This week: crowdfunding cases for Saber Rider, mecha strategy, and a long-lost series! Plus Tokyo Game Show wrap-ups with Persona 5, Ni-Oh, and the newest face in Street Fighter V! ― There'll be no X Button next week, since I'm taking a vacation. But don't worry. I'll make sure that my next column covers all of the important video-game sights in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio! I might not be joking, ei...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 290

"While at times predictable, this week's Gintama is an enjoyable spotlight on Sakamoto."
ep. review

Overlord ‒ Episode 12

The penultimate episode of Overlord fulfills a promise made in the opening credits, and then comes to an abrupt ending.
review

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust Blu-Ray

Yoshiaki Kawajiri's spectacularly animated gothic adventure finally comes to bluray, but after 15 years, does it still hold up? ― Bloodlust is the 2001 follow-up to the original 1985 movie Vampire Hunter D. Whereas the first movie adapted the first novel of the source series by Hiyuki Kikuchi, this one loosely adapts the third novel, in the process adding in a couple of new elements while discarding ...
ep. review

Monster Musume ‒ Episode 12

"Monster Musume has ended, and I'm not sure if we should all pat ourselves on the back or seek some form of counseling, but it's been a fun ride either way."
ep. review

Classic Review: Paranoia Agent ‒ Episode 11

"Paranoia Agent returned to its original narrative this week, with an episode that introduced us to the former police chief Keichi Ikari's delicate wife."
ep. review

Actually, I Am… ‒ Episode 12

"Just when it seems like we're stuck in autopilot, Aizawa steps in and livens things up considerably."
ep. review

Non Non Biyori Repeat ‒ Episode 12

"For a show about four girls traipsing merrily around the countryside, there's a lot going on under the surface in these dozen episodes."
ep. review

Castle Town Dandelion ‒ Episode 12

"From a shaky first episode to a slowly strengthening middle, the show has traded in its moe fluff for character growth and family bonding in the end."
review

One-Punch Man GN 1 & 2

One of the most anticipated anime of fall 2015 is out now in manga form. Rebecca takes a look at the first two volumes. ― One thing you can say about ONE and Yusuke Murata's One-Punch Man: the title does not lie. The shounen parody, which began life as a web comic both written and illustrated by ONE, follows the adventures of Saitama, a young man who got sidetracked on his way to a job interview thre...
ep. review

Durarara!! ×2 The Second Arc ‒ Episode 11

"Everything has come down to the core beliefs of the most powerful personalities in the story and how they will choose to act against one another."
ep. review

Snow White with the Red Hair ‒ Episode 12

Snow White with the Red Hair sails off into Happily Ever After territory... at least until January 2016. Rebecca sums up the midseason finale.
ep. review

Gangsta. ‒ Episode 11

"With only one episode left, it doesn't look like we'll get any sort of conclusion."
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 710

"I feel like we're now constantly about to fall off the edge and encounter a fight that overstays its welcome, especially as the show teases us and slowly builds back to Luffy and Doflamingo, but so far so good."
review

Turn A Gundam Sub.DVD

Turn A Gundam returns in a second half that flies to the moon and back in search of a lasting peace. ― When I last left Turn A Gundam, the Dianna Counter and Militia forces were still sparring on earth, with various side groups like the Rett squad and Corin Nander occasionally throwing wrenches into their already-fraught attempts at negotiations. Those earlier episodes dithered around somewhat, with ...
ep. review

God Eater ‒ Episode 8

"Episode eight of God Eater felt like a second-to-last episode struggling to put out all the fires before the clock stops."
column

Shelf Life - Patlabor Dispute

This week's new releases, a Shelf Obsessed you have to see to believe, and reviews of Hamatora and the third Patlabor film. What more could you ask for? ― As I compile the lists of new releases each week, I can't help but notice that we've been seeing a lot of big, expensive collector's editions lately. I'd hesitate to spend over a hundred dollars on anything except my all-time favorite shows, but I...
ep. review

Heroic Legend of Arslan ‒ Episode 24

"The sweep of the plot was at least enough to make this episode more engrossing than others."
ep. review

Wagnaria!!3 ‒ Episode 12

"We haven't seen much of Taneshima this season, but this episode manages to set up a satisfying ending for her character arc."
feature

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Week of Sept 9-15

As we enter the final 2 weeks of the Summer 2015 season, see how your favorite shows are doing according to user voting. Did your favorite show rise or fall? ― Our team of reviewers are following 27 anime series of the Summer 2015 crop. And this season, at the top of each Daily Streaming Review, we added a little rating widget to let our readers chime in. So let's have a look at what ANN readers con...
ep. review

SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist ‒ Episode 12

"In the end, SHIMONETA is a series best appreciated if it can be taken for exactly what it is on the surface: a rollicking ride of raunchy, twisted fun."
column

The Mike Toole Show - Love Live! The School Idol Column

Mike takes in the Love Live movie and gazes starry-eyed at the wonder, the excitement, the passion, and the disposable income of Love Live fandom. ― “You are awake and about to head to the theater, yes?” my wife, Prairie, texted me. I turned to the four women in front of me. “Hey, can I take your photo?” I asked. They quickly agreed. So I texted back this picture of (left to right) Starlightslk as El...
review

Chiro - The Star Project GN 1

Chiro - The Star Project is an unlikely title to get a license rescue, but its story of a pampered girl learning that her looks won't get her out of everything has enough potential that it may yet prove itself. ― You never can quite tell what series cut off in their prime will get a license rescue. Some make perfect sense, while others feel a little more random. Netcomics' reissue of Hyekyung Baek's ...
ep. review

Gatchaman Crowds insight ‒ Episode 11

"Things got pretty brutal in this week's Gatchaman Crowds."
ep. review

Charlotte ‒ Episode 12

"I'll give this to Charlotte: I did not predict where it was ultimately going at all."
ep. review

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers ‒ Episode 12

"Ultimately, Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers will have to be remembered in terms of what comes next, if anything does."
ep. review

Classroom Crisis ‒ Episode 12

"Things heated up in this penultimate episode of Classroom Crisis.
ep. review

GATE ‒ Episode 12

GATE takes a break for the fall, but not before setting up its next big storyline.
ep. review

Chaos Dragon ‒ Episode 12

"Here at the end of the road, who can really take responsibility for the disaster that was Chaos Dragon?"
ep. review

Prison School ‒ Episode 11

"This week's Prison School doesn't skimp on the tension, but Hana's climactic scene is unnerving to sit through."
column

The List - 7 of Evangelion's Strangest Tie-In Goods

When it comes to merchandise exploitation, Evangelion is the Star Wars of Japan - and here are seven of the outright oddest knick-knacks the franchise has spawned. ― This year's the 20th anniversary of Hideaki Anno's genre-defining giant robot anime. The series has cultivated a large fan following dedicated to its immersive lore. Viewers still argue for Rei or Asuka and its iconic characters have, f...
review

Naruto, Vol. 71

This is it: the second-to-last volume of Masashi Kishimoto's magnum opus, one of the most popular manga of all time. Can you believe it? ― The entirety of Naruto Volume 71 of is devoted to the showdown with Kaguya, who's been released from her sons' seal as a result of the Divine Tree's resurrection. The volume opens on a needlessly complex info dump courtesy of Black Zetsu, who reveals his true iden...
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 12

"If your summer anime season is ending around now, I recommend checking out Ushio & Tora because it's only just begun to rev up the engine."
column

Answerman - What Will Happen To A Convict's Voice Acting Work?

Voice Actor Scott Freeman was recently convicted of a crime and imprisoned; what happens to the work he's done that's already out there, and what are the responsibilities of the company that hired him? ― Lee asks: With the recent imprisonment of Scott Freeman, what is likely to happen with future releases of shows that he has already dubbed? I am a big fan of both Highschool DxD and Baka and Test am...
column

ANNCast - Supernerds vs. The World

Daryl Surat and Mike Toole return to the Supernerds headquarters for a couple hours of easy, breezy anime talk! PLUS: Metal Gear Solid 5, Symphogear, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and more! ― ANNCast Episode 238: Supernerds vs. The World Get the Flash Player to see this player. Daryl Surat and Mike Toole return to the Supernerds headquarters for a couple hours of easy, breezy anime talk! PLUS: Metal G...
ep. review

Death Note (Drama) ‒ Episode 11

The Death Note j-drama has reached its end, concluding with a different take on Light's journey from previous versions. So how does it stack up overall?
feature

History Comes Alive with Fate/Zero

It's time once again to turn the pages of history and find out the thrilling story behind the legendary heroes summoned by the Grail War mages of Fate/Zero! ― Welcome back to part two of our compendium on the legends behind Type-Moon's hit Fate franchise! Part one was all about Fate/stay Night, and you can read it here. This time, I'll be covering F/SN's prequel series, Fate/Zero. Based on a series o...
review

The Irregular at Magic High School Sub.Blu-Ray 2

The Irregular at Magic High School's second arc suffers from glacial pacing, but it still manages to relay some important information. ― This may be just my opinion, but I rather thought that competitions, when portrayed in a visual medium such as anime, ought to be as tense and exciting as possible. We should be on the edges of our proverbial seats as the talented groups compete for supremacy, or at...
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 430

"Killer Bee's Infinite Tsukuyomi storyline reaches its climax this week as viewers are left to wonder how many more characters will receive the dream world treatment."
ep. review

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace ‒ Episode 11

Ranpo Kitan rides off into the moonlight, but at the end of it all, one question remains: does Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace work as a series?
ep. review

School-Live! ‒ Episode 11

"The storytelling elements in play here are by no means original, but they deliver nonetheless, and at the end deliver hard."
interview

Interview: The New Ultraman with Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi

One of Japan's most recognizable and popular superheroes received a major reboot, courtesy of two artists with some wildly creative ideas on how to bring Ultraman into the 21st century. Deb Aoki chats with both artists and their editors for some real insight. ― In N. America, superheroes are synonymous with comics; they represent what most Americans think about when they talk about comic books. In Ja...
review

IDOLM@STER (Episodes 1-25 Streaming)

The Idolmaster combines an engaging cast with jaw-dropping production to create a show worth watching for anyone with any interest in idols and anyone who loves animation for its own sake. ― The Idolmaster is based on a rhythm/”raising” game, where you take the role of a producer of a new idol or group of idols as they attempt to make it in the idealized but still fairly dog-eat-dog world of professi...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 289

"Saying the supercharged finale of the Soul Switch Arc goes out with a bang would be an understatement."
column

Answerman - Whatever Happened to Manga Entertainment? (PART TWO: UK Edition)

As it turns out, a whole lot is happening with Manga UK; Justin gets the inside information from Animatsu Ltd. CEO Jerome Mazandarani in this exclusive report. ― In Monday's installment, I wrote in detail about how Manga Entertainment had fallen far from their place of dominance in the late VHS era, when they had such titles as Ninja Scroll, Macross Plus, Ghost in the Shell and Perfect Blue. The his...
feature

So You Want To Build A Gundam Model

The allure of the Gundam model kit is difficult to resist, but the technical skill involved (and all those little parts!) can be daunting. Veteran mech assembler Lauren Orsini walks you through the basics, proving anyone can build one! ― Gundam is one of the most enduring and recognizable franchises in anime. It has been around for more than 25 years of television, producing so-so shows and iconic sp...
ep. review

Snow White with the Red Hair ‒ Episode 11

"There's a fine line between “romantic” and “cheesy,” and I tend to think it largely relies on your mood."
column

The X Button - On With the Show

This week: the first chunk of the Tokyo Game Show brings Todd’s favorite news all year! Plus new Street Fighter characters, more Kingdom Hearts, and a great bonus costume for Dead or Alive. ― This week brings the Tokyo Game Show, and with it some news I've wanted to hear for a long, long while. Before I get to that, however, Nintendo has a new leader up for discussion. The tragic loss of Nintendo Pr...
ep. review

Overlord ‒ Episode 11

"Although it mostly takes itself seriously, every so often Overlord does show that it can have a sense of humor."
game review

Super Mario Maker

The good news: Mario Maker is a great tool that lets anyone design Mario levels. The bad news: Mario Maker is a great tool that lets anyone design Mario levels. ― It's pointless to try and review Super Mario Maker like most other games, because it's not as much of a game as it is a tool. Sure, there are a handful of pre-made levels on the disc to mess around with, but ultimately most of the fun from ...
ep. review

Monster Musume ‒ Episode 11

"This episode recaptures the insane charm that's characterized the better parts of Monster Musume."
ep. review

Castle Town Dandelion ‒ Episodes 10-11

"If episode ten had its ups and downs, episode eleven was a complete treat the whole way through."
ep. review

Non Non Biyori Repeat ‒ Episode 11

"The magic is still there, but it's stretched too thin to elevate the material beyond its surface-level appeal."
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 3

The third novel in the series that spawned the hit anime (and the boob string) is important reading for franchise fans, but feels a little light on content. ― Whereas the anime version of DanMachi spent three episodes each adapting the first two of the original novels, it only devotes two episodes (7 and 8) to the third novel. Given the story and character development territory that this novel covers...
interview

Interview: Kodansha Advanced Media on the Future of Manga

Several top-level executives from the largest Japanese publishing house discuss the future of the manga industry, simulpublishing, fighting scanlation piracy and more in this wide-ranging, eye-opening interview. ― In early August 2015, several top executives from Kodansha, one of Japan's largest publishing companies came to Northern California to celebrate the opening of the Kodansha Advanced Media o...
ep. review

Actually, I Am… ‒ Episode 11

"Apart from some questionable storytelling, this is another solid entry in a show that has managed to stage one heck of a comeback from its mid-season slump."
column

Answerman - Whatever Happened To Manga Entertainment?

Justin recounts the fascinating tale of Manga Entertainment, once the biggest name in anime in the US, but now a shadow of its former self. PLUS: the Answerman column is turning 15 years old! ― I was chatting with Zac last week when the two of us came to a major realization: In just a few short months, the "Answerman" column on Anime News Network turns FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Think about that for a secon...
column

Shelf Life - Captain SNAFU

This week's new releases, including the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist on bluray. Plus: reviews of Captain Earth part 2 and SNAFU in HD! ― Well, folks, it's my second appearance as the new Shelf Life guy, and that can only mean one thing: I've managed to go a whole week without causing the column to burst into flames! Go me! Really, though, thank you for your support and continued readership. Let's jump r...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 709

"We've got a lot of fights ahead of us, and I'm happy we've got at least one really solid one under our belt."
ep. review

Heroic Legend of Arslan ‒ Episode 23

"This is a battle episode for The Heroic Legend of Arslan, which can only mean one thing: terrible animation."
review

Love Live! The School Idol Movie

Fresh from an incredible run in Japanese theaters, the Love Live movie hit American theaters like an extinction-level meteor made of cute girls and catchy pop music this weekend. Nick Creamer survived the experience... but was the movie any good? ― Love Live! has never been the most emotionally scouring or thematically challenging production. It's grasped at drama, with both of its seasons attempting...
ep. review

Classic Review: Paranoia Agent ‒ Episode 10

"If last week's Paranoia Agent was Satoshi Kon taking lukewarm stabs at a half-dozen general topics, this week was a surgical strike on one very close to his heart."
ep. review

Gangsta. ‒ Episode 10

"At this point, my feelings on any given Gangsta. episode are entirely dependent on what mood it tries to play into."
ep. review

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers ‒ Episode 11

"Rokka has nailed its mechanics as a mystery, and now it's time to see how it reveals its culprit."
ep. review

Gatchaman Crowds insight ‒ Episode 10

"If the ultimate message here revolves around embracing a personal truth and the people you can trust to share it with, I think I'll be okay with that."
ep. review

SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist ‒ Episode 11

"Somehow SHIMONETA has managed to follow up what was easily its worst episode of the season with what is arguably its best."
review

Alice in Murderland GN 1

Kaori Yuki's take on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland owes as much to American McGee as Lewis Carroll, but if you're not sick of Alice manga, it's worth checking out. ― The world's collective obsession with Lewis Carroll's 1864 children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland does not look to be dying out any time soon, and Japan's manga industry is one of the more interesting producers of Alice ret...
ep. review

Wagnaria!!3 ‒ Episode 11

"Hire a marching band and clear the streets for a parade, because "it" finally happened."
ep. review

Durarara!! ×2 The Second Arc ‒ Episode 10

"A terrific game-changing twist at the end saves this episode from being completely forgettable."
ep. review

Charlotte ‒ Episode 11

"While a final shakeup like this had to happen, it's easy to imagine how it could've been executed better."
ep. review

GATE ‒ Episode 11

"Despite a complete dearth of action or intensity, quite a lot is still going on, including the introduction of the hook for a presumed upcoming storyline."
ep. review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma ‒ Episode 23

"Sometimes the way anime thinks breasts works is enough to give you nightmares. (Or at least a major fit of the giggles.)"
column

The List - 7 Dessert-Obsessed Manga

These seven dangerously sweet manga insist you eat dessert before your dinner. ― Elegant tea houses, delicately decorated cakes, and equally gorgeous chefs populate this week's sister list to "7 Manga To Improve Your Cooking." These manga focus on finding sweet love or using a little magic to become the next great patissier. Life is short, eat dessert first. 7. Yumeiro Pâtissière A children's manga,...
review

A Silent Voice GN 2

A Silent Voice moves towards a more conventional dramatic structure while maintaining the nuanced character writing that makes it great. ― A Silent Voice's first volume told a heavy and largely self-contained story of childhood bullying, establishing the sad circumstances of Shoya and Shoko before eventually ending on the slightest note of hope. Fortunately, volume two doesn't try to repeat this tric...
ep. review

Classroom Crisis ‒ Episode 11

"Classroom Crisis has certainly been a show of ups and downs, and the last couple weeks haven't seen it putting its best foot forward all that often. Fortunately, things finally changed for the better this week."
ep. review

Chaos Dragon ‒ Episode 11

"So much happened in this episode, and somehow all of it was awful."
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 11

"At long last, this episode of Ushio & Tora revisits some of the show's most likable characters, giving us a long awaited reunion."
ep. review

Prison School ‒ Episode 10

"While far from the most memorable outing, this week's Prison School sets the stage for a truly epic finale."
column

Answerman - How Are English Dub Voice Actors Cast?

If you've ever wondered exactly how voice actors are chosen for roles in anime dubs, Justin has the rundown for you. ― Dakota asks: After watching Shirobako I gained a general understanding of how the Japanese voice actors are cast for anime. The process was basically what one would expect, but it got me wondering: How do English distributors like Funimation choose who will voice each roll? I know t...
review

A Bride's Story GN 5

A Bride’s Story gathers all its considerable strengths for a fifth volume that demonstrates the series at its best. ― The twins' wedding has come at last, and it seems like no one is more excited for the occasion than Kaoru Mori herself. As the first half of this fifth volume proceeds from wedding preparations to ceremonies to intimate moments between the brides and grooms, Mori is given a perfect op...
ep. review

Death Note (Drama) ‒ Episode 10

"The final episode of Death Note is in just a couple days, and there are several different possibilities for how it could end."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 429

"Unfortunately, the proceedings often have more of a "really good fan fiction" than "surreal dream world" vibe."
ep. review

School-Live! ‒ Episode 10

"School-Live! has been a very good series up until this point, but with episode 10 (aptly-titled “Rainy Day”), it faces its stiffest storytelling challenge yet."
ep. review

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace ‒ Episode 10

"In this episode, which is the backstory of Namikoshi, the first Twenty Faces, “concealment” is a major theme, and if it isn't one of the absolute best episodes of Ranpo Kitan, it is one of those most steeped in Edogawa's favorite themes."
ep. review

My Love Story!! ‒ Episode 23

"The perfect set-up for a mushy, heartwarming finale."
column

Answerman - Whatever Happened To Saban Entertainment?

Saban Entertainment brought over kids' anime en masse in the 90s; shows like Noozles, Flint the Time Detective, the original Dragon Ball Z dub, and more. So where'd they go? ― Drew asks: As a child of the late-80s/early-90s, I grew up with a lot of anime dubbed by Saban (not even knowing it was anime half the time, i.e. Maya the Bee). However with Saban being bought by Disney and then coming back re...
review

Haikyu!! Part 2 Blu-Ray

Haikyu's second half ups the pace and the tension with the boys entering the Inter-High tournaments in hopes of going to the Nationals. ― Not enough tournament action for you in the first half of this shounen volleyball show? That will absolutely not be a problem in the second half, where the Karasuno team heads off for the Inter-High games. Where the previous set was all practice games and learning ...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 288

"Episode 288 ups the stakes just enough to drive the action and comedy into the final act, making it an ideal middle entry in a three-part arc."
ep. review

Monster Musume ‒ Episode 10

"There are a handful of redeeming features in this episode, but the "D" storyline has been a disappointment thus far."
feature

History Comes Alive with Fate/stay night

The hit fantasy drama Fate/stay night features powerful mages summoning legendary figures from history, but who exactly are these mythical heroes, how has Kinoko Nasu transformed their characters for the show? Gabriella Ekens investigates. ― Sick of scouring wikis and disparate fan materials for the stories behind the myths featured in Type-Moon's hit Fate franchise? Well, I've got you covered with a...
column

The X Button - Capsule Corps

Todd takes on Capsule Force for a double dose of retro-stuff! Plus Monster Hunter Tales, Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, and the best Project X Zone addition yet! ― I talked a lot about Mega Man last week, and I'll continue for just a little while. It seems that a new Mega Man movie, first rumored months ago, now has slightly more solid grounding. The Tracking Board reports that the film has produce...
review

Blood Blockade Battlefront GN 5-7

Gabriella Ekens dives in to the last three available volumes of Yasuhiro Nightow's explosively strange manga while waiting on the anime's long-delayed finale. ― These are the final three volumes of Blood Blockade Battlefront's source manga to have been released in English. There's been renewed interest in this series since the anime (directed by Rie Matsumoto) came out in Spring. So how does this lat...
ep. review

Snow White with the Red Hair ‒ Episode 10

"Without going into too much detail and thus risking a big spoiler, let me just say that this is the episode a lot of us have been waiting for."
ep. review

Overlord ‒ Episode 10

"Anime has shown before that watching rampaging monsters who fully embrace their monster side can be fun, and Overlord is now the newest evidence of that."
column

Answerman - How Do Anime Budgets Compare to American Animation Budgets?

You hear a lot about how anime is inexpensive to make compared to American animation, but what exactly are the numbers? Justin breaks it down. ― Allan asks: I often read that anime is made with a much lower production budget than "western animation". That certainly makes sense when comparing the average TV anime with a big-name western production like a movie from Disney/Pixar. But I'm curious how a...

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