We just passed two of our Patreon milestone funding goals! If you're a patron, vote on what series we get to review next.

Anime Roundup: July 31, 2015
Post-Otakon announcement wrap, 'Galaxy Express 999' pulls into the Hulu station ... and how you can sell millions of copies to fans and still go unnoticed by fandom.

This site is


See all articles See all anime by title
© TSUTOMU NIHEI · KODANSHA/KOS PRODUCT COMMITTEE

'Knights of Sidonia', Season 2: Once More Into The Breach, Dear Pilots

No comments

The best parts of 'Sidonia' remain its visuals and its gut-wrenching combat sequences; it's a shame its human elements aren't quite as strong

© 2014 Atsushi Ohkubo/SQUARE ENIX, SOULEATER NOT Project

'Soul Eater Not!': Not Soul Eater

No comments

A side-quel that only makes the audience long all the more for the original, instead of cutting its own path

© Taiyō Matsumoto, Shogakukan / PingPong The Animation Committee

'Ping Pong The Animation': Tennis, Anyone?

No comments

Calling this a 'sports story' falls so far short of describing how its seething visuals tell a story that'll hit home with most anyone, ping-pong players or not

See all articles See all anime by title

A 'Legend' Without The Myth

With 'Legend of the Galactic Heroes' finally licensed for English release, it's all the more important to examine it critically, not reverentially

No comments

You would have had a hard time finding a series with a more, well, legendary aura about it than Legend of the Galactic Heroes, one enhanced all the more by its sheer unapproachability. Neither the original novel series nor the anime derived from it — both accorded classic status in Japan — had ever made it to English-speaking shores. Consequently, you would have had an even harder time finding an announcement capable of rattling more eyeteeth than the news that not only had VIZ's Haikasoru imprint licensed the rights to the first three novels, but that Sentail Filmworks had also picked up the TV series. Cue permafrost forming in hell.

But with this undeniably great news came, for me, a troubling realization: How to talk about something of this stature without wearing the blinders of fandom — in short, how to talk about the material itself, and not the hagiographic version of it carried around in the head after decades of hearing about it? I'll figure out the details as I go, but I do know it has to be done.

Continue reading

© 2012 Noboru Yamaguchi · MEDIA FACTORY

Finishing Someone Else's Work

When does it make sense to have others continue work left unfinished by the creator's death, and when is it best to just leave well enough alone?

No comments

Rarely is there anything fair, or just, about the death of a creator. At best, an artist will die leaving nothing immediately unfinished, but will still be gone. At worst, they will die young, in the middle of work they have invested themselves in deeply, and leave behind both the work itself and a heartbroken audience. When does it make sense to have others continue work left unfinished, and when is it best to just leave well enough alone? The paradoxes, not all of them obvious ones, at the heart of this question surfaced for me with some news that broke last week.

Continue reading

'Darker Than Black': What They Do In The Shadows

With pieces borrowed smartly from across other entertainments, the 'X-Men meets X-Files' 'Darker Than Black' holds up well after nearly ten years

No comments

If an anime, or any popular entertainment, borrows from other things, that by itself is never the crime; it's only a crime when the work in question begins and ends with such borrowing, and never moves past that. Darker than Black is, in the abstract, full of borrowings — some obvious, some more cryptic — but the fact that the creators had good taste guiding what they borrowed from wasn't the only thing that paid off. The best of influences do not automatically make for the best of end products, although they sure help. What ultimately makes the show work is a good sense of the fundamentals: an intriguing premise, a lively cast, the intelligent development of the ingredients, a sense of fun that doesn't distract from the main mission, and a worthy way to wrap everything up. It may not shoot for the moon, but it also doesn't blow off its own toes — and it hits squarely all the things it does aim for.

Continue reading

© BONES · Tensai Okamura/DTB Committee · MBS
See all articles See all anime by title