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Impressions: Elfen Lied Blu-ray/DVD comparison
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '13 at 09:00 AM
By Pedro Cortes from Japanator:
What's this? Another Elfen Lied review? Not quite. Like some other popular ADV shows, Elfen Lied was released several times. Not including digital releases, I believe this is the fifth time you can buy a new version of this show. While I absolutely love the show and believe it should be owned by as many people as possible, it's hard to justify that many releases of anything.

That said, I bought it again. Yep, this is my third time buying this show. Sucker? Perhaps, but hey, at least it's a new format. So that means that it's totally worth the price and you should definitely buy it, right? Well, hit the jump to find out if this latest release is for you, because it might not be.


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A Very Special Episode: The World God Only Knows Ep. 9
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '13 at 05:00 AM
By Pedro Cortes from Japanator:
If you've been following Annotated Animated for a while, you might remember that I've covered the previous two seasons of The World God Only Knows. For those that haven't, the show is about an otaku named Keima, who has been forced into a contract with an adorable demon from New Hell. In order to keep his head on his shoulders, he has to capture loose souls that have escaped from the Underworld. The thing is, they're hidden in the ladies of his town and the only way they can be extracted is if the ladies are in love. Thus, the otaku whose only experience with romance comes from the copious eroge on his shelves puts his virtual training to work and make these girls fall in love with him.

The third season is currently airing and it's done some interesting things to mix up the progression that it's previously followed. Instead of pulling out loose souls, Keima has to find six goddesses whose fate is tied to an ancient war between Heaven and Hell as well as the life of one of his classmates. The goddess are in the bodes of six girls that Keima has previously "conquered," so that means that Keima has to make them fall in love with him again. That's made more interesting, because the process of pulling out a loose soul from a girl removes their memories of their time with Keima. The introduction of these goddess makes the girls partially remember falling in love with this random otaku. It makes things amusingly complicated, but it also highlights something I've been wondering since the first episode of the first season: how does Keima feel about the whole deal?

Hit the jump to see what happens when his plan doesn't go quite the way he thought it would.


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Architecture Improves! Project Phoenix rakes in over 700k
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '13 at 08:15 PM
By Salvador G-Rodiles from Japanator:
It looks like the cities in Azuregard are looking nicer right now, as Project Phoenix manages to reach its second stretch goal. Besides the improved locations, players will be given the option to create their own characters that will be used to aid Ruffles and her party in battle. Whether your customized characters will play a role in the story or not will probably depend on the next set of updates by Hiro and his staff.

While the Kickstarter hasn't reached anywhere near 700k, the rest of the funds are actually coming from the Paypall pledges, which have passed over 12k. With eight days to go, anything can happen at this stage, so I'll continue to wish everyone the best! On the side note, the game will be getting a German localization, which is a nice little treat for those who live in Germany.

For more information on the new updates, you can check out the press release below. And who knows, the phoenix might gain some extra weight when the funding period comes to a close.


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Let's get HUGE: Japanator rolling out ad-free memberships
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '13 at 05:00 PM
By Brad Rice from Japanator:
We here at ModernMethod are rolling out a membership program across all four sites called HUGE. The program is meant to be a game-changer for the entire network, allowing us to bring you better content than you've ever seen before. Right now the program is just available through Destructoid, but we'll be rolling it out on Japanator this week, and any benefits gained from signing up via Destructoid apply across all of our sites.

First, let's talk about what you get. You'll get an ad-free browsing experience on all four of our sites (Destructoid, Japanator, Tomopop, and Flixist). You'll get automatic entry into all of our contests on all four sites. You'll get direct access to staff members. Those are the guarantees, and we're working with some of our partners to provide even more benefits!

On our end, it allows us to not worry about turning into BuzzFeed or BleacherReport -- putting out articles with a 100-page gallery that forces you to click through over and over again. We'll be able to provide better content, because we are beholden to you, not to pageviews (But don't worry, we'll still run that gallery of embarrassing Elliot photos).

Instead, we'll be able to take a better look at some of the anime and manga out there, raising the discussion to a new level. We'll be able to cover Japanese pop culture more in-depth, and provide some new features that we had only been able to dream about up until this point.

< article continued at Japanator >

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Huzzah! Urobuchi reveals more info about Kamen Rider Gaim
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Salvador G-Rodiles from Japanator:
As I said before, don't let the fruit designs throw you off, because Urobuchi isn't going to play around with this fine piece that we call a fruit salad. In a way you could say that the reason that the riders are based off of fruits is because the Butcher himself plans to slice them into pieces with his usual set of knives. In all honesty, it's a perfect metaphor that goes well with his usual style. Speaking of the Butcher, Urobuchi was interviewed by Hyper Hobby magazine, and he manages to talk about the style of Gaim's story.

Perhaps the best bit of news is that he intends for Gaim to go back to the elements found in Kamen Rider Kuuga, Agito, Ryuki, and 555. That said, the series won't rely on the two part arcs that have been used in a good number of the recent Heisei shows, and he plans make the show more dramatic as well. To add more layer to the icing of the cake, the Butcher compared Takatora/Kamen Rider Zangetsu to Ouja from Kamen Rider Ryuki. In other words, there's a good chance that Takatora is going to be a murderous overprotective older brother to anyone that's not Mitsuzane/Kamen Rider Ryugen.

Overall, I'm even more excited about Gaim now. Unless if some sort of executive meddling takes place, I think it's safe to say that I have won my bet against my friend that doubted my faithful words. On an interesting note, it turns out that Tomokazu Sugita (Kyon from Haruhi, Kivat the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th from Kamen Rider Kiva, Joseph Joestar from Jojo) was the person behind getting Urobuchi to be involved with Gaim. The best part is that it was a dream that the Butcher had for quite a while.

< article continued at Japanator >

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Bid Achieved! Devil Survivor 2 is coming to Europe
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '13 at 02:45 PM
By Salvador G-Rodiles from Japanator:
In an impressive manner, the folks at Ghostlight have achieved the right amount of pre-orders to complete their bid on releasing Devil Survivor 2 in Europe! Actually, there wasn't an auction house involved, but I thought their situation was perfect for a Devil Survivor 2 related reference. But anyways, it's good to see that they were able to achieve their ultimate goal.

While most folks have probably imported the North American version of the game, Ghostlight's efforts will give people who haven't played the game yet the opportunity to check it out. If you're still on the fence on whether to get the game or not, you can check out my review from last year.

Hopefully, things will go better if the updated 3DS version known as Devil Survivor 2: Break Record manages to come to Europe in the future. If things go better next time, let's hope that they'll think of an effective fusion where folk won't have worry about going through a long wait.

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Hello, World: Hatsune Miku English version out now
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Josh Tolentino from Japanator:
The time is now, Miku fans! After what felt like forever, it seems that an English-speaking version of everyone's favorite digital diva is finally on the market. Yes, the imaginatively titled Hatsune Miku V3 English is ready and waiting for your purchase. Now you too can manipulate the Vocaloid suite in a dogged effort to wring some real singing out of software code.

Of course, there is a catch, that most fundamental of catches integral to civilization: This good stuff ain't free. Far from it, because the program costs $149. Yipes! Joining the cottage industry that is Vocaloid composition won't be totally cheap, after all. Still, dedicated would-be producers can pick it up here (for North America), or here (for Europe), or here (for elsewhere).

But, if you're more the type to listen rather than compose, the first batches of user-created English Miku music videos are rolling in at Mikubook, the Vocaloid-centric social channel.

At this point I guess the real question is if Miku will catch on outside Japan as hard as she did within.

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Hayao Miyazaki retires from the world of feature film
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '13 at 11:00 PM
By Elliot Gay from Japanator:
72 year old Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from making feature-length films at Italy's Venice Film Festival during a press conference.

To give you all an idea of how big this news was here in Japan, the announcement was made via an "alert" on TV. For those of you wondering, that's the sort of thing reserved for natural disasters or huge events.

Yes, Hayao Miyazaki means a lot to a whole bunch of people around the world, and for good reason. His work at Ghibli has inspired unspeakable amounts of people, and he himself will no doubt go down in history as one hell of a director.

It's worth noting of course that this announcement clearly states that while Miyazaki is retiring from making feature films, shorter works are not out of the question. However unlikely it might be, I'd love to see Miyazaki do a TV series in this day and age.

What's your favorite Miyazaki film? Personally, Castle in the Sky is a film that I can watch an infinite amount of times, no matter the time or place. It's a classic story that resonates with all ages, and the animation still blows my mind even today.

Sound off below with your favorites!

[via ANN]

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Annotated Anime: Summer 2013 Week 9
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '13 at 09:00 PM
By Josh Tolentino from Japanator:
Hello, and welcome to the increasingly late that's got the ribbing YOU need to watch Japanese cartoons...All. Night. Long. If you know what we mean.

And just in case you don't, here's what we mean: Railgun S, WataMote, Majestic Prince, Genshiken, Danganronpa, Highschool DxD, Neptunia, Class C3 (finally!), Day Break Illusion, Rozen Maiden, Uchouten Kazoku, Silver Spoon, Gatchaman Crowds, and Fate/Prisma Illya!


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Rock the Charts for the Week of August 30th
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '13 at 07:00 AM
By Brad Rice from Japanator:
While you won't see it in this week's top three ranks, #6-#9 on the New York Times manga list is all taken up by Attack on Titan. I've got to say, that's awfully impressive. It's clear that the title has a number of fans who are not just dedicated to it, but a number of them that are discovering it and devouring whatever they can find on store shelves. Kodansha has a certified hit on their hands.

On the film front, Star Trek: Into Darkness finally makes its debut in Japan, while the rest of the box office has a lackluster showing of repeats. It's going to take another animated film to bust through the rankings. And the New Korea Wave continues to flood Japan, with a new SHINee single hitting the top three of the charts.

Let's take a look at the top titles from each list:
Oricon's Top Three Songs

1. Fall In Love Fortune Cookie by AKB48
2. Boys Meet U by SHINee
3. When I Think of You, I Fall In Love by V6

New York Times' Top Three Manga

1. Naruto Vol. 62
2. Pokemon Adventures: Heartgold and Soulsilver Vol. 1
3. No. 6 Vol. 2

Japan's Top Three Box Office Films

1. The Wind Rises
2. Star Trek: Into Darkness
3. Monsters University
Check out the full lists after the jump!


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PSA: Catch Evangelion 2.22 on Toonami tonight
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Josh Tolentino from Japanator:
If you've been looking for an excuse to stay up at midnight watching television, here's one more to add to the pile: You can catch Evangelion 2.22: You Can [Not] Advance on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block (in North America) tonight, at midnight Eastern time.

On the off chance that you've already seen 2.22, the folks at Adult Swim have promised "a special little goodie". Goodness only knows what they mean by that. Perhaps an Evangelion 3.0-related announcement?

And in case seeing Shinji get his won't be enough to whet your Eva-sized appetite, check out Josh Totman's interview with character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto!

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Kristina's Summer Vacation: #31 - Reflections
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '13 at 09:00 AM
By Kristina Pino from Japanator:
It's the last day of August, meaning today is the last Daily Japan Photo for my summer vacation! If you want to keep seeing pictures of my daily life in Japan, there are plenty of places to find me, including at Japanator's official Tumblr sideblog.

This particular image is taken at Mito, which is Ibaraki's capital city. It brings me back to something I was saying with my picture of lotus plants from Ueno Park - I like the contrast between the modern city look and the lush environments that are spread throughout the country. The tree-lined walkway along the river here is nice, and leads to a lake with swans and a popular jogging track. A little further, and you'll get to a park with a bamboo forest and a sea of plum trees.

[full image in the gallery!]


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Japanator Interviews: Space Station Osaka
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '13 at 05:00 AM
By Eric Koziol from Japanator:
Gaming is more social than many like to give it credit for. Arcades used to play a huge part of this socialization but now the majority seems to happen with screens between the players. Of course there are still some arcades and people will often get together with friends to play. You probably know of arcade bars where alcoholic beverages are served and arcade machines fill the place instead of just being one stuck in a corner.

In Japan there are game bars which eschew the arcade machines for the more Japanese-sized bar friendly consoles. Patrons are encouraged to pop a game into any classic or modern console and play solo or with friends as they enjoy a beverage and a snack.

Almost every single one are owned and operated by Japanese, but not all. Japanator sat down and interviewed Matt Bloch, owner of the Osaka game bar Space Station, to find out more about this unique bar.


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Kill la Kill 30 second CM is to die for
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '13 at 04:15 AM
By Elliot Gay from Japanator:

A few days back we posted a link to the latest Kill la Kill CM. It was only fifteen seconds long, but it was the first real look we've had at the series since it was first announced by TRIGGER.

Aniplex since has uploaded an extended version of the CM that runs a cool 30 seconds, giving us a much clearer look at the characters and general feel of the show. It's brief. It's glorious. It's Hiroyuki Imaishi.

The team behind Gurren Lagann have their work cut out for them, but I have faith. Check out the new CM above and sound off in the comments below.

Are you as excited as I am?

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Japanator Arena: Asura vs Gurren Lagann
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '13 at 07:00 PM
By Salvador G-Rodiles from Japanator:
*ding, ding, ding*

It's Over!

Well, Crono tried to alter the course of time to gain the upper hand, but Zoro's endurance couldn't handle the combined strikes of Guts and Saber. While Saber was facing some teamwork issues with Guts, she was able to whip out her Excalibur and Avalon combo fast enough to prevent Crono from going back in time. Saber and Guts win! (21 > 8)

We’re back to our usual versus matches this week, and I think it’s time that we change things up once again! Thanks to a suggestion from my local friends, we’re having a demigod that’s powered by his own rage against a machine that’s power by the hotblooded will of many individuals! Most would consider this battle to be random, but it’s not like we've had super beings go up against powerful robots in fiction before. So without further ado, let’s introduce our opponents.

He was one of the Eight Guardians at one point in his life, and his rage knows no bound. Despite his anger, his devotion to saving his own daughter is unmatched, as the amount of time he spent on this quest took him longer than our lifespans combined. Tonight he’s here to show us this power, so let’s step out of the way for Asura from Asura’s Wrath to enter the ring.

Simon and his comrades went through a lot to reclaim the freedom of mankind. In fact their own will allowed them to fight against all odds in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Proving to everyone that the Spiral Energy can work in one’s favor, Gurren Lagann is ready to pull out the Giga Drill Breaker once again!

Both fighters have the ability to harness a great amount of energy, so we can expect to see the galaxy tremble in this fight. Just to be clear with everyone, both sides will be going all out in this battle, which means that no one is holding back.

< article continued at Japanator >

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Random Encounters! MangaGamer grabs 3 Stars of Destiny
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '13 at 06:30 PM
By Salvador G-Rodiles from Japanator:

I don't mean to sound skeptical right now, but the latest title that's joining MangaGamer's new shop doesn't seem to click with me that well. Sure, 3 Stars of Destiny takes notes from classic JRPG, but there's something about the game that gives off a messy presentation. While the sprites and environments give off a great sense of nostalgia, the battle menus and the coloring for the character portraits and monsters need to be improved.

Mind you, that doesn't mean that the game's story and gameplay will be terrible, so there's a good chance that Aldorlea Games's newest title will give off its own special charm. I mean, I had an issue with the character portraits in Dust: An Elysian Tail, but the game's gameplay, story, animations, and environments were enough to make it a great game. Hopefully, the same will apply to 3 Stars of Destiny when the game becomes available on August 30th.

For more information on Aldorlea's new game, you can check out the press release below. While you're at it, you can check out the game's images in the gallery as well.


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First official Space Dandy PV is live
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '13 at 05:15 PM
By Elliot Gay from Japanator:

Studio Bones has uploaded an official version of their first Space Dandy trailer to the Bandai Visual Youtube, and well... I'll just let it speak for itself.

Why is this something you should be excited about? Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop (and other great titles) fame is returning to space.

Space Dandy is... a dandy guy in the space.

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A Daily Dose of Music: Afilia Saga
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '13 at 05:00 PM
By Salvador G-Rodiles from Japanator:

Hiroko's having a busy week at work, so her schedule is random at the moment. Whenever her workload overwhelms her, I will snatch the Daily Dose from her when I can. Once again, I would like to apologize for being a bit late again. Unfortunately a few things got in the way, but I still managed to prevail! As we get ready to for the weekend, let's look at Afilia Saga's song that gives us the courage to progress in our video games!

Acting as one of the ending themes for the Neptunia anime, "Neptune Sagashite" reminds us of the great times that we can have when we jump into a random game. While it mostly focuses on Neptune's life as a goddess and a gamer, I think that we can relate to ordeals of managing our responsibilities with our gaming time. Thanks to the cute singing voices of the girls of Afilia Saga, I always feel rejoiced when "Neptune Sagashite" pops up as the ending theme while I'm watching the latest episode of Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation.

Due to the music video being a slight preview of the song, you can check out the full song in the Overdose of Music below. However, the overdose video is the song only.


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Kristina's Summer Vacation: #30 - View
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '13 at 03:00 PM
By Kristina Pino from Japanator:
Since I'm boring today and I had to go to work, I don't have an awesome picture freshly taken for your viewing pleasure. So instead, I'm tossing up another picture from last week's visit to Enoshima, this time a view from the top of the Sea Candle, which is a tower that doubles as a lighthouse.

[full image in the gallery!]


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Liberation Maiden goes to PS3 with Liberation Maiden SIN
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '13 at 12:00 PM
By Josh Tolentino from Japanator:

Ah, Liberation Maiden. At first it seemed like something of a throwaway novelty, a 3DS shoot 'em up designed by Level-5 and Goichi "Suda 51" Suda and part of the Guild 01 anthology of auteur-driven titles. And in some ways it was, being a pretty tiny game by most standards (and incidentally Suda's least objectionable title), but it had a premise none can deny, that of a schoolgirl becoming President of "New Japan" and fighting an alien invasion in a cool mecha-fighter jet.

Indeed, that premise won't be denied to home console players any longer, as Liberation Maiden is getting adapted for PS3, as the adventure game, Liberation Maiden SIN. And now it has a teaser trailer, narrated by Kana Hanazawa, the voice of President/schoolgirl Shoko.

It's nice to see more Liberation Maiden out and about for non 3DS-owners like yours truly, but I can't help but think that I'd have preferred to see this as an anime adaptation rather than an adventure game, if only because an anime has a better chance to get into English. Then again, Liberation Maiden's now a known quantity to English-speaking gamers and publishers, so there's a good chance either way.

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