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Thrashback Thursday: Anthrax “Madhouse”
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This week’s Thrashback Thursday spotlights one of the “Big Four” of thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer being the other three) at the height of their influence and popularity. With the third song and only single* from their 1985 album Spreading the Disease, here is New York’s own Anthrax with “Madhouse.”

Check it out below.

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Anime Review: No Game, No Life
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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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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: Magical Warfare
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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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