Gurren Lagann Announced for Toonami

Gurren Lagann | Saru Anime

Believe in the Toonami that believes in you! Or, uh, something.

Anyway, good news for Toonami fans: Gurren Lagann will be airing on the block starting August 16th at 2 AM. The reveal was made via a Tumblr Q&A video and was slipped between news of DBZ Kai Uncut making its debut this Fall and a little letdown for Gundam Wing fans. SARA breaks the news gently: “We love Gundam Wing, but we can’t air it right now.”

Though Gurren Lagann isn’t the newest series on the market, it’ll make a great addition to Toonami’s lineup. It’s action-packed, wonderfully animated, and has a story and cast that will have newcomers hooked. I’m definitely willing to rewatch the series as it airs.

Sailor Moon Crystal – Episode 2

Sailor Moon Crystal | Episode Two

Episode two of Sailor Moon Crystal debuted to an excited and worried crowd on Saturday. On the one hand, longtime Sailor Moon fans are still extremely optimistic about this new series and its faithfulness to the manga. On the other hand though, the new character designs and the new series’ animation style has yet to win over a portion of the viewer base. Episode two was Sailor Moon Crystal’s chance to prove itself again to both sets of fans. And did it?

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Sailor Moon Crystal – Episode One

Sailor Moon Crystal | Episode One

When I was eight years old, I would rush home from elementary school to watch Sailor Moon on Cartoon Network every afternoon. It was a tradition that lasted for years, and my interest in the show bordered at times on religious fanaticism. My first attempt at drawing (outside of the toddler doodle-and-scribble stage) was a picture of Sailor Moon herself. I never would have discovered the manga section of my local bookstore if I wasn’t trying to hunt down the “comic that inspired the show!” I taught myself how to navigate the internet and search engines looking for Sailor Moon websites, and the first website I ever built was a Sailor Moon fansite.

Today, at twenty-five years old, I rushed home from work to watch the first episode of the series’ reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal.

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Free! Eternal Summer – Episode 1

Free! Eternal Summer | Episode One

It’s back guys and gals, the second season of your favorite swimming anime: Free! – Eternal Summer. I won’t go into detail regarding season one of Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, but if you need a recap, check out my series of reviews from last summer. Instead, let’s just dive right in!

I even promise I won’t make any more stupid swimming jokes.

Probably.

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Summer Anime 2014 – What I’m Watching

Summer 2014 Anime | Saru Anime

Will I have time to watch everything I want to see this season? It’s a tough call, since there are a lot of interesting shows making their debut here in the next couple of weeks. Check out the extremely useful AniChart for a full listing. We’ve got everything from beloved childhood shows making a comeback to highly anticipated sequels and some promising new series.

Given the variety of shows to choose from, it’s no surprise that this list is pretty extensive. Let’s start with the obvious…

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Summer is Coming

Free! Episode 12 | Saru Anime

… or rather, summer is here!

This blog really became active last year when I was reviewing the first season of Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. It died down after that as the weather cooled and autumn moved in, but I’ve missed this place. I’ve missed reviewing the newest anime, writing posts on interesting news, and talking to you guys in the comments.

So with season two of everyone’s favorite swimming anime coming out in a matter of days, well… here I am again!

This summer is going to be a big one. We’ve got the new Sailor Moon premiering, season two of Sword Art Online, season two of Space Dandy, and that’s not even mentioning any of the new franchises making their debut. When is anyone going to have time to leave their house this summer? I for one already pitched a Sailor Moon Crystal premiere party to my friends, complete with themed food and paper crescent moons for everyone’s foreheads (they said no).

So hello again to all of you from the past, hello to all newcomers, and hello to a lot of new anime. See you all soon!

Playing Catch-Up

First of all: happy holidays internet!

And second of all, glad to be back. I fell off the wagon there when the winter season of anime started, so that’s put a dent in my plans to keep up with a weekly look at new episodes. I’ve finally caught up with two of my most anticipated series though, so I’ll give a quick run-down of those while I’m here. Feel free to comment with your own thoughts on the season so far!

Beyond the Boundary

Beyond the Boundary | Saru Anime

This series has continued to be just as entertaining as the fist episode promised it would be. We have some endearing and interesting characters, a relatively well fleshed-out world, beautiful visuals and some believable (and emotionally gut-wrenching) drama. I love a series that can balance out romance, adventure, and drama without letting any one element overwhelm the others, and Beyond the Boundary has done a great job of that so far. Definitely my favorite show of this season.

I have seen some reviewers saying that the show is annoyingly silly and doesn’t have that strong of a plot, and I’ll admit that there are some slow episodes. These mostly lend themselves to character development in some way, which I’m all for, even if it’s at the expense of some excitement (though the one “let’s become idols!” episode is definitely there as a fun filler, so how you feel about that is probably up to personal preference.) So take my thumbs-up with a grain of salt.

Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill | Saru Anime

I was extremely hyped for this series, but it’s not quite what I had expected. Not to say that is a bad thing.

To start, it’s an amazingly quirky show. The visuals are often rough and very exaggerated, which actually works perfectly with the overall feel of the story and its characters. I definitely had not thought the show would be this lighthearted and fun from the PVs. There’s an theme of establishment versus individual will underlying the whole thing, and it’s really interesting to see how they handle the concept from episode to episode. Also, the characters are fun. Even the villains have something about them that makes them really entertaining, and everyone on the show seems to be just as overblown and outlandish as the visuals. It’s like watching a candy-colored action  movie.

The thing that surprised me the most though was the sheer amount of fanservice. There was probably some promo material that showed it off that I missed, so the first transformation kind of boggled my mind. Kill la Kill takes a unique approach to it by not only acknowledging the skimpy uniforms (Ryuko is extremely uncomfortable with her battle gear in the first few episodes, and many characters comment upon it rather than it being ignored outright as the norm), but also by making it relatively important to the plot. Kind of. At least they talk about it and let the characters wearing the outfits have individual opinions on them, which is more than some shows do.

There are still squicky things about the show (the main female character is only 17 and is often being leered at/spied on by older men, for one), but overall Kill la Kill brings something unique to the table if nothing else.