New in Japan

Aiura – First Impressions

I will say that the artwork is very beautiful, however – it’s shaded more than a typical anime and looks a lot like watercolor. It has a very illustrative feel, which makes me hope that the story itselfwill be very smooth, atmospheric, and interesting.

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Valvrave the Liberator

Valvrave the Liberator – First Impressions by Drake

I just completed episode 1 of Valvrave the Liberator, and all I can say is ‘WOW!’ and ‘OH MY GOD! WHAT EVEN?’ Suffice it to say, this anime blew my mind away in ways I never expected, and completely took me by surprise. Instead of being the typical run-of-the-mill giant robot anime, like Majestic Prince was last week and the many others that came before them, this anime is already displaying some themes that just hit home on many levels.

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Anime

Valvrave the Liberator

Much of humanity has migrated into space, and three clear factions have formed, associated with different Earth powers: ARUS, which holds its own via negotiation; Dorssia, which functions as a military state; and JIOR, a much smaller neutral nation that finds its power in its economic prosperity.

Haruto Tokishima is a student at Sakimori High School, a private institution in Module 77 of JIOR’s space colonies. He is going about his daily life as war rages between the other two factions, about to confess love to his childhood friend, Shouko Sashinami, when the colony falls under Dorssian attack, breaking JIOR’s neutrality. A mech housed beneath the school is accidentally launched to the surface level near Haruto, who climbs aboard and is asked an unsettling question by the onboard computer: “Do you resign your humanity?” His answer grants him pilothood of the mech, known as a Valvrave—but what is the extent of the human cost of his decision to defend his fellow students, and how is the now-isolated student body supposed to carry on with no clear authority in place?

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Miki

Valvrave the Liberator – First Impressions by Miki

The year is True Calendar 71. Humanity has moved 70% of its populations to space colonies known as “Dyson Spheres” (no, they are not styled after vacuum cleaners), and on the neutral colony of JIOR, at least, things seem to be at peace. However, teenage agents from an aggressing force invade the colony and the academy found there in search of some sort of secret base.

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Yuyushiki

Yuyushiki – First Impressions

Without being aware of too many of them, I get the feeling that “slice-of-life school club comedies” are a dime a dozen now. After Azumanga Daioh set the standard for the genre (well, without the club bit) in the early 2000s, it’s difficult to call the rest true “copycats” – they all explore different clubs, even if the style of humor is largely the same. It’s not like a ton of these all run concurrently, so it’s kind of like a burger that you keep ordering over and over again. It was great the first time, and it’s still good the other times, except for the occasional bad lettuce or old bun or something like that.

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Miki

Karneval: First Impressions

Suffice to say, the ringleader and his sidekick, a blonde martial artist with a bulletproof cloak, are members of a secret defense organization called “Circus,” butts are kicked, the hostages are freed, and more is discovered by the viewer about the organization the Lady in the beginning was working for, which Circus was sent to investigate in the first place but arrived too late. The first few minutes were interesting, gripping, excitingly scored, and all-in-all a very fine piece of directing, and the rest of the episode tied itself up plot-wise with the absolute neatest of bows, while still leaving the ends of the ribbon trailing off for you to follow for later episodes.

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Conventions

CyPhaCon 2013

Lake Charles, LA,USA. April 19th – April 21st, 2013. Reporter(s): Alaska & Nikkz [sorttablepost cat=”208″ meta=”Writers” nothumb=”true” nocats=”true” notags=”true”]  

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Anime

Yuyushiki

Yui, Yukari, and Yuzuko are in their first year of high school, and haven’t found a club to join yet. They’re stopped while wandering the halls by a flyer for the “Data Processing Club,” and their homeroom teacher, who happens to be the advisor for this club, comes across them and asks them to join. Unable to resist the teacher’s cuteness (or breasts, depending on the member of the trio), the three girls agree. Their club meetings consist of sitting at computers and randomly searching for information on the internet on any variety of topics, but the range of their friendship stretches far beyond the confines of the tiny club room, their school grounds, or the sheer absurdity of Yuzuko’s mind.

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