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Updated: 5 hours 30 min ago

Annotated Anime: Hanayamata episodes 2-3

16 hours 21 min ago

Reporting live from New Jersey: There are no uprising of Yosakoi, blonde teenage kids wanting to start clubs, or anything out of ordinary from Princeton. Not that I know what's going on down in that part of south-central part of the Garden State, but everything seems same-old.

What I can report is that if I did a three-episode test with Hanayamata, it would pass with flying colors. By that I mean it's full of colors flying past my eyes, not because it carried itself in some super-compelling way. In fact, all signs points at the odds that Hanayamata is a story that all of us have seen countless time. It's about execution and telling that good old story told countless times with ways of making it fresh.

 Hanayamata episodes 2-3 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Cheers! Trails in the Sky's PC version gets a release date

18 hours 21 min ago

As XSEED Games and Carpe Fulgur continue to work on The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC, the awesome folks at XSEED have announced that the first Trails in the Sky game's hitting Steam and GOG on July 29th (next Tuesday) for only $19.99. Best of all, the title's first week releases'll be sale for 15% off the actual price!

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Persona 4 Golden Animation episode 2

20 hours 21 min ago

Now that the semi-obligatory introduction is out of the way, time to go wild! Skipping entire characters, plot points, and any redundant mainline story, we're taken on a jaunty ride to the stuff Persona 4 the Golden fans have been waiting for.


 Persona 4 Golden Animation episode 2 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

So I guess the Ninja Turtles are Japanese Kappa, now?

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:00

That seems to be the story Paramount have gone with in their new "Legend of the Yokai" trailer for this year's big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, opening on August 8th. According to the stylized animations and stereotypically accented narration, ninja turtles first came about after demons terrorized a small village. A quartet of Kappa - a turtle-like magical creature of Japanese folklore - were summoned to learn the ways of ninjutsu and take the fight to the enemy.

Considering that the very first incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came about as a parody of the 1980's most popular comic book concepts, I suppose this interpretation of the nature of the Ninja Turtle is as valid as any.

Categories: General Japan News

Sony invokes dongs to sell the new PS Vita

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 09:00

Remember that time in middle school you and your friends would get naked in the locker room and compare genitals? Me neither, but Sony does. This Japanese ad for the PS Vita calls up youthful PS-envy as young boys remark on the sheer size of their friend's little (electronic handheld) friend. 

For what it's worth I actually think it's a cute ad, and not nearly as bizarre as some of Sony's other efforts. On the software side, the ad namedrops future Vita titles like Oreshika 2, Toukiden Kiwami and Freedom Wars, with a mosaic at the end including titles that probably wouldn't be on your average middle-schooler's to-buy list, like a Love Live! dancing game and a pair of otome titles.

Sony invokes dongs to sell the new PS Vita screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 20

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 04:00

Normally I don’t repeat a pun during my segments, but I couldn’t resist using another “orange” pun, since it’s relevant to ToQger’s 20th episode. That, and I guess this pun is sort of a last resort. I’m kidding.

Anyway, it’s time for us to find out if the show’s quality has gone up or down, as we catch up on my latest rambling about ToQger. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I used that introduction.

 Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 20 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Huzzah! Three Zyuranger actors are attending Power Morphicon '14

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:00

Alright, people; it's time to pull out your Morph... er, I mean Dino Bucklers, because Yuuta Mochizuki's (Geki/Tyranno Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger) attending Power Morphicon 2014! Aside from the original T-Rex-themed Ranger being at the con, Hiroshi Maeda (Tyranno Ranger's suit actor and suit actor for most of Super Sentai's Red Rangers) and Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Dragon Ranger's suit actor, Dairanger's Ryusei-Oh) will also be at the convention.

Since Power Rangers used most of Super Sentai's action scenes, many viewers were able to experience Maeda and Takeuchi's performance as well. That being said, it's great that both Sentai and PR fans'll get to meet the stunt people that donned the suits of many Rangers and Robots from the franchise.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 13-16

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 09:00

One of the things I've grown to love about Stardust Crusaders is that it passes by quickly. It's amazing how I can basically leave the series for weeks on end and then catch up with all of them and remark "Wow, that was quick."

Not to say that this is a Bleach type of situation where episodes pass by quickly because nothing is happening, but more that every episode of Stardust Crusaders is so damn lively that the time passes by as fast as a strike from an unarmored Silver Chariot.

 Stardust Crusaders episodes 13-16 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Report: Power Rangers co. Saban sues indie Sentai game

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 08:00

I love the story of Chroma Squad, a little indie game from Brazilian outfit Behold Studios. They took something they loved - tokusatsu and Super Sentai - and made it into a unique game concept - putting players in the shoes of a producer making their own tokusatsu show in the classic mold. A lot of other folks liked that idea as well, which translated to quite a bit of money on Kickstarter. All's well that ends well, right? 

Categories: General Japan News

Queen Beryl and Jadeite devise an evil scheme in Sailor Moon's third dub clip

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:00

It seems that my prediction about Viz uploading a new Sailor Moon-related video everyday was incorrect, as the company chose to post their third dub clip today. Either way, it's still nice of Viz to show off Sailor Moon's new English dub before the first boxset comes out. Speaking of which, today's video takes us into the heart of evil, as we get to see Queen Beryl and Jadeite in action.

Once again, Viz's casting decision are working well for the show's new English audio. All in all, Cindy Robertson and Todd Haberkorn both managed to bring out Queen Beryl and Jadeite's sinister side, which means that my excitement for the new dub has gone up.

Categories: General Japan News

Japan Cuts Roundup: The Devil's Path, The Pinkie, and Greatful Dead

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:00

It's been a little while since my last one of these, and I'm sorry about that. But I haven't actually died or anything, and there's still more to come! With just three days left in the festival (tonight included), some of the heaviest hitters have yet to play, like tomorrow's Neko Samurai, which I am extremely excited for. But that's tomorrow. This is today. And one of the films I'm looking at, Greatful Dead (not a typo), plays in just a few hours.

So if you don't already have plans this lovely Friday evening, maybe you will now.


Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Anime: Aldnoah Zero episode 2

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 04:00

"Operation Earthfall" has been begun, igniting war on planet Earth. Launching massive structures called "landing castles" all over the world, they strategically destroy every communications resource they find on land, sea, and space. I guess it's up to a group of teenagers to set things right!


 Aldnoah Zero episode 2 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 685

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00

Welcome again to your weekly dose of Association Ninja Soccer coverage. In today's update from the Interdimensional Ninja Cup 2014, and top-tier striker, Sasuke Uchiha, is ninja-running at speed toward his goal!

Will he make it? Or will humanity lose against the rabbit goddess in a crushing 7-1 final tally? Check out our detailed pitch analysis below!

 Naruto chapter 685 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Tokusatsu: Kamen Rider Gaim episode 37

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:00

Are you looking for a more exciting soccer match than the World Cup?  If so, then you’re in luck, my friend. It turns out Kamen Rider Gaim is taking a break from their main story to deliver the All Rider Cup, a soccer tournament where the fruit-based Riders are fighting to win the Golden Apple. Unlike your normal soccer game, you can look forward to special feats that professional players wish they could do.

From the looks of it, this episode’s meant to introduce us to the upcoming Kamen Rider Gaim movie’s setting, so we can rest assure that the main story remains unaffected.

 Kamen Rider Gaim episode 37 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 589

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 08:00

Y'know, when Urahara said that getting transport ready to take Ichigo and crew to the Royal Palace would take "a minute or sixty", he wasn't kidding. Or maybe he was kidding, since I took him about two weeks worth of chapters to start us on this journey.

Either way, this week we get the principals ready for the next big fight while unfortunate humor and other nonsense tides us over back at the front lines.

 Bleach chapter 589 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Vocaloid concert coming to Phantasy Star Online 2

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 20:00

Sometimes when you're out killing hundreds of monsters for XP in a MMO you think to yourself, "Gee, I sure wish I could take my character to go see a show of some sort." Well fear not, my friends. Sega has just announced that Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka will be holding a concert in Phantasy Star Online 2 later this month.

The duo will be performing the theme song to Phantasy Star Online 2 "Living Universe." The show will be performed in the Arks Lobby starting on July 23. During said concert, there will be some loot that you will be able to get your hands on like some temporary rare drops, experience boosts that will last for two hours, and money, money, money, money....MONEY!

Now for the salted lemon cocktail in the wounds, Phantasy Star Online 2 is still just in Japan and Southeast Asia with no North American or Europe release yet. Come on Sega! Get it together and get this out!

Categories: General Japan News

Sailor Moon's second dub clip shows off Luna's new English voice

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 18:00

After giving us a quick sample of Usagi and Mamoru's new English voices for the new Sailor Moon dub, Viz  has uploaded a new video that features Michelle Ruff's take on Luna. Since I've enjoyed most of Ruff's roles, I thought that her performance was pretty good-- especially the way how she reacted to Usagi's remarks.

Based on Viz's second clip, Stephanie Sheh's version of Usagi is beginning to grow on me, which means that the other characters'll most likely sound great. That being said, I can't wait to see the next person that Viz'll give the spotlight to. Seeing that Luna's clip was released a day after Usagi and Mamoru's, I predict that the next video hits YouTube on Thursday.

Categories: General Japan News

Annotated Tokusatsu: Kanpai Senshi After V episode 9

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:30

Things are getting difficult for the After V again, as Pink has to deal with her comrades crying over their recent loss. Considering that they’re short on one member again, the team’s going to have to restructure their group around the new person who joins them.

At this rate, evil might have the upper hand against good-- unless if an uncontrollable situation takes over. In the meantime, the main thing that needs to be fixed is the depression that both sides are facing at the moment.

 Kanpai Senshi After V episode 9 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Shonen Showdown: One Piece Episodes 647 - 653

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 05:00

As we’re in the thick of a pretty serious arc, the pace for One Piece has slowed to a crawl. Not only that, but there are so many different things going on that it’s taking forever for major plot points to deal with themselves. I mean, I spent a while in my last One Piece recap talking about Luffy’s fight in the C Block and that’s still going on here. 

So a couple of weeks later, I’m back now that some more story has passed us. Hit the jump to see what’s happened in the last couple of weeks!


 One Piece Episodes 647 - 653 screenshot

Categories: General Japan News

Let's take a quick look at Sailor Moon's new dub

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 19:00

Back when Viz Media announced the English voice actors for the new Sailor Moon dub at Anime Expo 2014, I couldn't help but to be intrigued by their choices. With the first Sailor Moon boxset getting ready to hit North America on November 11th, Viz has uploaded a short clip that shows Usagi and Mamoru's new English voices.

Overall, the new dub isn't too bad. If anything, I'll need to hear more of Stephanie Sheh and Robbie Daymond's voices before determining if their roles in Sailor Moon are good or bad. For now, let's just say that Sailor Moon's new dub sounds promising.

Categories: General Japan News