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Anime Review: Chaika: The Coffin Princess
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Chaika: The Coffin Princess

Chaika: The Coffin Princess
Directed by Soichi Masui
Produced by BONES, Kadokawa Pictures
Voice cast: Chika Anzai, Junji Majima, Yuko Hara, Chiwa Saito, Iori Nomizu, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Kenzuka Satou, Saeko Zogo, Shuta Morishima, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yumeha Koda, Takaya Hashi, Yui Makino.
Air dates: Streaming Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. CDT on Crunchyroll

Let’s say your father died a violent death and his killers had scattered his body parts all over the world, and you were on a quest to gather his remains together in order to give him a proper funeral. Now, let’s say you don’t remember much of what happened up until your father’s death, but everyone is saying he was an evil magical emperor who was utterly defeated in a world war, and a corps of warriors is chasing you, bent on preventing his remains from being gathered together again. One more complication: Let’s just say you’re not the only offspring of the late emperor with the same aim in mind. It seems that everyone in the world is against you, except for two saboteurs and a dragon that hides in the guises of a little girl and a cat. That’s the set up for Chaika: The Coffin Princess, now currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Anime Review: No Game, No Life
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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no-game-no-life-anime

No Game, No Life
Directed by Atsuko Ishizuka
Based on the Light Novel Series by Yuu Kamiya
Produced by Madhouse, Media Factory
Voice cast: Ai Kayano, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Mamiko Noto, Mugihito, Naomi Shindo, Rie Kugimiya, Risa Taneda, Yoko Hikasa, Yuka Iguchi, Yukari Tamura.
Air dates: Streaming Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. CDT on Crunchyroll

Slacker. Ne’er-do-well. Non-conformist. Hippie. Hermit. Otaku. NEET. Hikikomori. Societies all around the world have come up with a wide range of names to describe people who have decided, for whatever reason, to drop out of the mainstream of society. Usually, there’s a lot of social stigma attached to the label, and the people who have to endure these labels seldom feel welcome in their respective cultures. Sometimes, the desire to get away from everyone and everything can be a very powerful thing. And that’s partly the motivation for a pair of gamer siblings in No Game, No Life, a series directed by Atsuko Ishizuka that is now streaming Wednesday mornings on Crunchyroll.

No Game, No Life tells the story of a brother-and-sister duo of gamers who have devoted so much of their lives to gaming together that they have become an urban legend, known only as [ ] (literally “kuhaku,” or “blank space”) with a reputation of never having lost a single game out of thousands of sessions across 280 or more different games. The pair is actually siblings Sora, 18, and his 11-year-old sister, Shiro, who are both NEETS (short for Not in Education, Employment, or Training) and are also Hikikomoris, or shut-ins.

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Anime Review: The Irregular At Magic High School
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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irregular-at-magic-high-school-anime
The Irregular at Magic High School (Mahoka Koukou no Rettosai)
Directed by Manabu Ono
Based on Light Novel Series by Tsutomo Sato
Produced by Madhouse, Aniplex
Voice cast: Saori Hayami, Yuuichi Nakamura, Yumi Uchiyama, Ryouhei Kimura.
Air dates: Streaming Saturdays at 1 p.m. CDT on Crunchyroll

In my experience in the world of academia, the two times of the academic year that are the most stressful for students and instructors alike are its beginning and end. It’s particularly stressful for students who are either entering an institution for the first time or are transferring from another school. Beside the usual difficulties, there is also the challenge of navigating the sometimes-treacherous waters of whatever social hierarchies exist in an academic environment.

Now imagine dealing with all that in a school full of magic users in a world in which magic has been systematized into an actual arm of technology. Such is the setting of The Irregular at Magic High School, or Mahou Koukou no Rettosai, now streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Anime Review: Captain Earth
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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captain-earth-anime

Captain Earth
Directed by Takuya Igarashi
Mechanical Design by Shinji Aramaki, Takeshi Takakura, Takeyuki Yanase
Produced by Bones, Shochiku
Voice cast: Miyu Irino, Hiroshi Kamiya, Kenichi Suzumura, Maaya Sakamoto, Rikiya Koyama, Rina Hidaka
Air dates: Streaming Saturdays at 1:00 PM CDT on Crunchyroll

The Giant Robot is another venerable trope that’s consistently run through the medium of Japanese animation for at least the past half-century. Starting with Tetsujin 28-go in the 1960s through Mazinger-Z, Macross, Gundam, Patlabor, Evangelion, and so many others, it seems that the concept of large metallic beings with super-sized fists ready to kick ass and take names is one that shows no sign of losing its legs anytime soon.

Case in point: Captain Earth. The storyline begins straightforwardly enough with, almost as a matter of course, the stereotypical high school sophomore. Daichi Manatsu (voiced by Miyu Irino) lives away from his family who live on Tanegashima Island, where his father died in a space accident when he was a child.

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Anime Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions – Heart Throb
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions

Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions – Heart Throb
Directed by: Tatsuya Ishihara
Produced by: Eharu Oohashi, Shigeru Saitō, Shinichi Nakamura

Voice cast: Jun Fukuyama, Maaya Uchida, Azumi Asakura, Chinatsu Akasaki, Eri Sendai, Kaori Fukuhara, Kikuko Inoue, Mami Shitara, Souichiro Hoshi, Sumire Uesaka, Yuri Amano.
Publisher: TBS
Air dates: Streaming Thursdays at 11PM CST on Crunchyroll

Did you ever wonder what it is that makes us geeks? Just what is it that makes us different from the madding crowds, the “silent majority” who think of our obsessions with everything from fantasy and science fiction to cosplay and anime as weird, juvenile, immature, or downright evil? Perhaps it’s that child-like sense of wonder and imagination that we’ve never lost, that ability to put ourselves into the shoes of the heroes and heroines we read about or see in our favorite films and shows that sets us apart.

In the series Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions, also known as Chuunibyou demo koi ga Shitai, directed by Tatsuya Ishihara, we meet a group of Japanese students trying to come to grips with their essential geekiness and the embarrassment and social stigma often associated with geekdom in Japanese society.

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