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Kelly Quinn

Summer 2015 Anime Preview: There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Princes

Summer anime is upon us at last, but while temperatures in the northern hemisphere are inching upward, my feelings about this season’s offerings are lukewarm at best. While we’ve got a few notable sequels—Gatchaman Crowds Insight, for one, along with the first new Dragon Ball series in almost twenty years—most of the season is struggling to squeak above utter mediocrity. Still, as always, there are a few worthy contenders among the new shows this season, including a picturesque fantasy romance, a lively 90s throwback, a gritty crime story, and a quirky supernatural school comedy.

With simulcasts in full swing, there’s no reason not to dive in. Crank up the A/C and check out these top picks for the summer season.

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Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy

Spring is in the air and we all know what that means…that’s right, new cartoons! In addition to the return of a few favorites—Fate/stay night UBW begins its second half and cynical school comedy My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is back, among others—this season brings a slew of anticipated adaptations. From the ultra-stylish Blood Blockade Battlefront to the sweeping historical landscapes of The Heroic Legend of Arslan and the genuine and sweet Ore Monogatari, there’s something for everyone this season. And with simulcasts of basically everything airing in Japan, there’s no reason to wait. The sunshine outside might tempt you to go out, but here are six new shows that are worth staying in for!

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Winter 2015 Anime Preview: Season of Sequels

It’s still plenty chilly outside, and what better reason to stay inside with a fluffy blanket than a new season of anime? Actually, calling winter a “new” season is a little misleading: with the amount of sequels airing, it’s difficult to think of a season less new than this one. After five years, fan favorite Durarara!!’s long-awaited second season is finally on the air with a new studio behind it and about twice as many characters as I remember. Shinto romance Kamisama Hajimemashita graces us with an unexpected but very much appreciated second season, and sports powerhouse Kuroko’s Basketball returns for a third. Meanwhile, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Aldnoah.Zero, and Tokyo Ghoul all continue from where they left off at the end of summer.

As far as new shows go, winter is traditionally a lean season, but there are still a few worthwhile titles to help us get through these cold months. Perhaps the macabre theater of Death Parade, or the vibrant energy of The Rolling Girls, or the labyrinth of visual metaphor that is Yurikuma Arashi can help keep the winter chill at bay. With simulcasts a click away, there’s no reason to wait until spring. Here are five of the best new shows available to watch right now.

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Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it is once again time to look back, reflect, and reduce all our experiences into ranked “best of” lists. Whereas often the year is dominated by one major blockbuster, 2014 was a somewhat eclectic year for anime, featuring a smattering of very good shows (and very bad ones), stunning displays industry talent (and incompetence), some very pleasant surprises (and rather unpleasant disappointments), and, alongside the annual prophecies of doom, a few reminders of how imaginative, innovative, and beautiful the medium can be.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of my ten favorite shows of 2014.

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Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets

Time rolls on and it’s fall once again. You could go out and enjoy the changing leaves, or carve a jack-o-lantern, or try to block out all the inexplicably pumpkin spice-flavored products that spontaneously appear at this time of year like snails on the sidewalk after a rainy night. Or you could avoid the whole mess and watch a brand new roster of Japanese cartoons.

After bidding a fond farewell to an exceptionally good summer season (I miss you already, Nozaki-kun), we’ve got quite an eclectic fall. Highly anticipated adaptions of Parasyte, Your Lie in April, and Fate/stay night debut, and so far manage to not suck. Rage of Bahamut stomps onto the scene with CG dragons and a rooftop chase on horseback. If you fancy a bit of time travel, Tomino’s Gundam Reconguista in G will take you straight back to 1979; or if you’re looking for a more recent nostalgia, The Seven Deadly Sins and Akatsuki no Yona both recall nineties favorites. And let’s not forget sequels: For those looking for their cyberpunk fix, Psycho-Pass returns with a new cast and a new writer. For lovers of robots and fun, Gundam Build Fighters Try delivers both just as effortlessly as the first season. For the sports crowd, Yowamushi Pedal is back and feels like it never left, while Log Horizon returns for the RPG fans. And for those who like good anime, the always lovely Mushishi returns for its final season.

With simulcasts a click away, there’s no need to wait—here are five of the best new anime premiering this fall that you can watch right now.

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Laika’s The Boxtrolls Will Knock Your Box Off

The latest film from the brilliant minds and hands at animation studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman), The Boxtrolls comes to the big screen laden with quite a set of expectations. With Pixar now apparently passé (what, no one liked Cars 2?), animation fans seem to have pinned their collective hopes and dreams on Portland-based Laika as the shiny new face of original storytelling in animated features. Frankly, that’s a lot of weight for one little film to bear, and in the face of mixed early reviews, I’ll admit that I braced myself for crushing disappointment as I walked into the theater this weekend.

Well good news, boys and girls, your hopes and dreams are safe with Laika for one day more: The Boxtrolls is charming, inventive, and beautifully realized in gorgeous stop-motion animation.

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Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!

As summer reaches its sweltering peak, what better reason to stay indoors with the A/C on than a new season of foreign cartoons? With a packed schedule of both new and returning shows, the summer season is looking rather suspiciously good. Fans will be pleased at the return of Space Dandy to both Japanese and American televisions, as well as new seasons of Sword Art Online (with guns!), Free! (with mermaids!), Kuroshitsuji (with circuses!) …and perhaps not so pleased with the return of Sengoku Basara (with uglier character designs!). For the binge-watchers, sci-fi series Knights of Sidonia is now available in full on Netflix. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s a whole roster of new shows, ranging from the rose-strewn Sailor Moon reboot to the moody and mysterious Terror in Resonance. With simulcasts mere moments away, there’s no reason to wait. Here are six of the best new summer shows that are available to watch right now.

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Spring 2014 Anime Preview: Now With More Robots

As meager rays of sunshine struggle to warm lands blasted by endless winter, the spring anime season has come upon us, sporting a full complement of new shows to warm our frozen hearts. From the youthful mecha adventures of Captain Earth to fantasy light novel adaptations, and from the unique creative vision of Ping Pong to other fantasy light novel adaptions, spring is bursting with brand new anime—plus the return of some well-loved favorites. With simulcasts a click away, there’s no reason to wait. Here are five of the best new shows of spring that are available to watch right away.

[Read on for new cartoons]

Winter Anime Preview: Dandy Guys in Space, Bureaucrats in Hell

The winter anime season is upon us, and I’m sorry to say it, but it’s looking pretty grim. Like a polar vortex of mediocrity, winter has brought down a flurry of bland mecha, unfunny comedies, and half-hearted light novel adaptations. But all is not lost—in addition to continuing series from fall and the return of Silver Spoon, there are a few new cartoons that look like they can get us through this harsh winter. From the heavily anticipated Space Dandy to surprises like Noragami and the weird Hozuki no Reitetsu, new anime is a click away. Here are some of the best shows of the winter season that are available to watch right now.

[Read on for more shows from the winter season…]

Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013

With 2013 behind us, it comes time to rank everything we had done or liked (or perhaps glanced at once all year long) in an endless series of “Best of” lists, and anime is no exception. As in every year, there were the usual hits, misses, misses so dazzling they became ironic hits, and the shows that were so middle-of-the-road everyone already forgot they aired (remember Kotoura-san? We don’t either). We’ve used our excellent subjective judgment to pick our ten favorite shows of 2013.

[Keep reading to see if we’ve snubbed your favorite cartoon]

Fall Anime Preview: Scissor Swords and Superheroes!

There’s an autumnal nip in the air and we all know what that means: pumpkin-flavored beverages, decorative gourds, and new cartoons. In contrast to a summer season full of more contemplative projects like Uchouten Kazoku and Silver Spoon, fall is crammed with stylish, action-packed shows, from the schoolyard battleground of Kill la Kill to the terrific madness that is Kyousogiga to impromptu superheroes in Samurai Flamenco. With simulcasts a click away, there’s no reason to wait. Here are some top picks for the fall season that are available to watch right now—let’s just hope some of them can live up to the hype.

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