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Anime Review: Pupa
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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pupa-anime-series

Pupa
Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki
Voice cast: Ibuki Kido, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Koji Yusa, Kyoko Narumi, Kenjiro Tsuda, Mamiko Noto, Mariya Ise, Shiori Mikami, Yurika Kurosawa
Studio DEEN, Earth Star Entertainment
Air dates: Streaming Thursdays at 2:30 PM CST on Crunchyroll

Japanese horror is a unique genre that touches on themes of possession, haunting, and psychological terror. Another recent phenomenon I’ve seen, particularly in the ONA, or Original Net Animation genre, is the under-five-minute format. The best series that are in this format have the ability to tell a compelling story in less time than it takes for the first act of a 24-minute show.

The series Pupa, now streaming on Crunchyroll as part of its new winter lineup, takes the horror/gore genre and combines it with the under-five-minute format, creating one hell of a mash-up.

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Anime Review: Oneechan ga Kita
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oneechan-ga-kita-series.jpg

Oneechan ga Kita
Produced by C2C
Directed by Yoshihide Yuuzumi
Cast: Aimi Terakawa, Juri Nagatsuma, Fumi Morisawa, Ibuki Kido, Kenji Hamada, Kouji Takahashi, Marina Inoue, Misuzu Togashi, Omi Minami, Yu Kobayashi.
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Oneechan ga Kita, or My Big Sister Arrived, is a light-hearted slice-of-life anime about the stresses of adolescence, parental re-marriage, and what can be the sometimes awkward relationship between newly-introduced step-siblings.

Based on the 4-panel manga created by Riko Anzai, Oneechan ga Kita is told mainly from the viewpoint of 13-year-old protagonist Tomoya Mizuhara. The series begins with Tomoya’s father getting remarried, and his new stepsister, 17-year-old Ichika, is madly in love with him. The usual array of madcap hi-jinx and fast-paced tropes follow in rapid succession, including Ichika’s insistence that she’s going to move into Tomoya’s room permanently and her otaku-like obsessions with her new stepbrother, which include plastering the walls of her room with photos of him and even having large stuffed toy versions of him lying around.

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Anime Review: Magical Warfare
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Magical Warfare

Magical Warfare
Directed by: Yuzo Sato
Produced by: Madhouse, Media Factory
Voice cast: Mamoru Miyano, Nao Toyama, Asami Seto, Jun Fukuyama, Kazuya Nakai, Kenichi Suzumura, Mikako Takahashi, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Toshyiuki Morikawa
Air dates: Streaming live on Crunchyroll, Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. CST.

Boy, who hasn’t wanted to just run away from one’s problems at one time or another? To be able to, as it were, just escape somewhere, anywhere, as long as it wasn’t here, can at times be a seductive daydream. However, there is a dark side to this fantasy; sometimes, you may not know what you’re wishing for, and that’s what the new anime series Magical Warfare tries to convey in a tale rife with magic, battle, and unintended consequences.

Based on the light novel series by author Hisashi Suzuki and the subsequent manga by You Ibuki in Monthly Comic Gene, Magical Warfare tells the story of a group of school friends who unwittingly get dragged into the middle of a battle between two worlds and two conflicting schools of magic. The story opens with protagonist Takeshi Nanase, a normal high school student and member of the Sakuraya High School Kendo team, whose relationship with his mother and younger brother are strained and distant owing to some dark past event that has come between them. “I’d go anywhere to get out of this house,” he tells himself, “even to Hell.”

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Anime Review: Witch Craft Works
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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witch-craft-works

Witch Craft Works
Directed by Tsutomo Mizushima
Produced by J.C. Staff, Lantis, Kodansha
Voice cast: Yusuke Kobayashi, Asami Seto, Ai Kayano, Shiori Izawa, Ai Matayoshi, Yuka Kuroda, Kana Asumi, You Taichi, Sayaka Oohara, Natsumi Hioka, Momo Asakura, Shiori Izawa, Yuuko Iida, Rie Kugimiya, Shiina Natsukawa
Air Dates: Wednesdays at 1:15 CST
Currently simulcasting on Crunchyroll

Put yourself in this situation: Let’s say you’re a below-average male high school student. You’re scorned by your classmates, and to make things worse, you have to sit next to the most popular girl in the entire school every day, an arrangement that singles you out for all sorts of physical and mental abuse from her fans – both male and female – on an equally daily basis.

Now imagine that the only thing keeping you safe from an entire army of large mechanical rabbits that just invaded your school, hell-bent on your destruction, and the cadre of witches leading them, was a single fire witch who referred to you as her “princess,” and said fire witch is none other than the most popular girl in school.

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Anime Review: Student Council’s Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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student-councils-discretion

Student Council’s Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)
Series directed by: Takuya Sato (1st series), Ken’ichi Imaizumi (2nd series)
Written by: Aoi Sekina, Jukki Hanada, Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Mariko Honda, Takashi Kondo, Misuzu Togashi, Yuka Saitou, Yuki Horinaka, Ai Shimizu, Haruka Tomatsu, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Mami Kosuge, Mamiko Noto, Ryoko Shintani, Takahiro Sakurai
Production: Kadokawa Pictures
Broadcast: Currently Streaming on Crunchyroll

Based on a light novel series written by Aoi Sekina, Student Council’s Discretion, or Seitokai no Ichizon, is a funny romp through the idiosyncrasies of anime and manga fandom, as well as the foibles of its own sometimes deeply flawed characters.

A prestigious private school named Hekiyou Academy is the setting for this self-effacing high school comedy, where members of the Student Council are elected by means of popularity contests. Kurimu Sakurano is the current President of the Student Council, along with Chizuru Akaba, the Council’s Secretary, Vice-President Minatsu Shiina, and her sister and Council Treasurer, Mafuyu Shiina. Rounding out this stellar cast is one male member, however: Ken Sugisaki, who acquired the coveted Student Council “Blue Chip” seat for Vice-President by being the top academic scorer on campus.

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Viz Media Announces Manga Library On Google Play
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Google Play Nexus7 Naruto

Want to keep up with the latest installment of the Naruto or Bleach manga, but can’t find it at your local comic shop? Well, my friends, Viz Media has come to the rescue by putting their huge catalog of over 1,700 titles online in Google Play.

The San Francisco-based media company is offering users a fully web-and-Android capable cloud-based online manga and anime store for the otaku in you.

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DVD Review: Danguard Ace: The Movie Collection
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Danguard Ace: The Movie Collection, from Shout! FactoryDanguard Ace: The Movie Collection
DVD
Created by
Leiji Matsumoto
Directed by William Winckler
Toei Animation / Shout! Factory
Release Date: November 19, 2013

“Danguard Ace, Transformation, Switch on!” Danguard Ace, or Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace, as it was originally known, is the brainchild of ’70s anime creator Leiji Matsumoto, who brought us such timely gems as Space Battleship Yamato, Galaxy Express 999, and Captain Harlock. On November 19, Shout! Factory released Danguard Ace: The Movie Collection just in time for the holidays.

The films are edited and dubbed versions of the original television series, which was first seen here in the U.S. as part of the Force Five series in the late ’70s. The story takes place in the future, where the Earth has been depleted of its natural resources. A fictional planet, named Promete (pronounced Pro-May-Tay) is beginning to enter the solar system. In response, Earth sends out a manned mission to explore the new planet in the hopes of colonizing and using its resources to save humanity. But Dr. Doppler, a man bent on using the planet for his own purposes, opposes the mission, and sets himself up as Chancellor on the new planet. Through mind control, he causes the team leader of the expedition to sabotage his own mission and then enslaves the survivors to his will. Chancellor Doppler then builds up defenses on Promete, forbidding Earth forces to land there. Leaders on Earth presume that the mission is completely lost, with all hands killed in action.

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PhobosLab’s ‘Z-Type’: ‘Space Invaders’ For The Typing Pool
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PhobosLab's Z-Type

Hey, remember Space Invaders? How about Centipede? Now, do you remember your typing class in high school? Wait, what? I’m not kidding. You probably thought, while you were being endlessly drilled in high school on page after page of typing letter after letter that there’s no way that something as seemingly tedious as typing on a keyboard, whether you learned on a computer or an actual typewriter, could ever be fun. But you – and me, and everyone else who ever had to endure typing lessons – were wrong.

You can blame game designer Dominic Szablewski for ruining our collective pre-conceived notions and irrational prejudices against the sport of typing. His Linkedin page describes him as a “Freelance software engineer, Creator of the Impact Game Engine and Aspah Microblogging Software.” With Z-Type, Dominic’s set up a game field very reminiscent of that in classic 2D arcade games like Space Invaders. You sit at the bottom and “shoot” at words as they come floating toward you on little saucers by typing the words themselves. You have to type the complete word in order to destroy it.

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Anime Review: Gingitsune: Messenger Fox Of The Gods
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods

Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods
Directed by: Shin Misawa
Series Composition by: Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Voice cast: Hisako Kanemoto, Shinichiro Miki, Ami Koshimizu, Ayumi Fujimura, Chinatsu Akasaki, Hirofumi Nojima, Kazuhiko Inoue, Kensho Ono, Tomokazu Seki, Tomokazu Sugita, Toshihiko Seki
Diomedea
Air Dates: Sundays, 12:30 p.m. CST
Currently streaming on Crunchyroll

Okay, confession time: I love slice-of-life anime. I have a big soft spot for this particular sub-genre, and when I first started watching Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods, I fell in love right away. Currently simulcasting on Crunchyroll every Sunday afternoon, the series is directed by Shin Misawa, whose previous work includes such series as 801 T.T.S. Airbats and the television version of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The series is produced by anime studio Diomedea, whose diverse list of production chores include Hidamari Sketch, Aria the Scarlet Ammo, and Fairy Tail, among many others.

The series is based on a manga created by artist Sayori Ochiai and tells the story of the day-to-day life of Makoto Saeki, who is the fifteenth successor of her family’s Inari shrine. The shrine has been in existence since the early years of the Edo period, roughly dating from the early 17th century. Makoto’s mother died while she was still a little girl, and it is at her mother’s funeral that she first meets the series’ other main protagonist, the shrine’s guardian “kitsune,” or fox herald, Gintaro.

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Crunchyroll Announces Simulcast Of Long-Running Anime ‘One Piece’
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One Piece Anime On Crunchyroll

One Piece fans, rejoice! Crunchyroll Inc., the leading online Asian entertainment stream service, announced on October 31st that it has added the incredibly long-lived series to its already impressive roster of streaming anime.

The series, which is currently up to its 619th episode, will begin broadcasting this Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Broadcasts will start with episode 619 for both premium and free users of the service. Earlier episodes will be made available for users at a later date.

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