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.

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.

Crunchyroll Manga Goes Live Today

Crunchyroll Manga | Saru Anime
Crunchyroll’s new manga service just went live today. Anyone with a Crunchyroll All-Access membership will be able to access their entire library of titles, while Anime and Drama members can access only the most recent chapter releases. Anyone can sign up for a Manga membership for $4.95 a month. New manga chapters will be added the same day they premiere in Japan, meaning this is the most expedient legal way to keep up with the latest manga as of right now.

Publishers have been branching out into digital manga distribution for a while now, but this is the first service that I know of that works through a sort of “streaming model” like this. Those who sign up for the service will have access to several different manga series, but they won’t be able to download and keep any for themselves at home. It seems like a great method for testing out different manga and keeping up with the newest releases, but not so great for avid collectors.

Either way, I’m excited about this service! I don’t have the All-Access membership, so I won’t be able to see the full extent of Crunchyroll’s manga selection for myself. So far though, it looks like they are offering a varied selection of titles and have more planned for the future, so this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

You can check out the service yourself on their website or through an iOS/Android app.

Space Dandy To Air on Toonami

Space Dandy | Saru Anime
A brand-new anime series headed straight to Toonami? Without months or maybe even years of delay between its Japanese and American release? Please tell me this isn’t a dream.

According to Toonami’s official Tumblr page, this isn’t our collective imaginations at work. The upcoming Space Dandy anime series (from Studio BONES and Shinichiro Watanabe, who you might recognize as the director of some humble little series like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo) will premiere on Cartoon Network January 2014. According to their post, this will mean that the show is premiering in North America before it does in Japan. Seriously? How can you not be excited to hear that? It’s about time we got something before our Japanese friends. This almost makes me a little less bitter about all the manga I’ll never get to read and all the otome titles I’ll never get to play… okay, maybe not. But it helps.

If you’re full of questions to ask the Toonami staff about this announcement (or any of the many other things they teased in their announcement post), there is going to be a Tumblr Q&A this Sunday starting at 11 AM. Head on over and ask away.

If you haven’t heard about Space Dandy yet, a new trailer for the series has just been uploaded that you can check it out below for an idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into. Between the music and the visuals, there’s a lot to see here that is reminiscent of Cowboy Bebop. Space Dandy looks like it’s going for a more whimsical feel overall with its crazy alien deigns and bright color schemes.

FUNImation has picked up the rights to the series, so we’ll no doubt be seeing a DVD/Blu-ray release of the show in the US sometime next year. What do you all think about Space Dandy so far? Excited, or is it not on your radar?

Edit: Since this was posted, Toonami has redacted the official release date of January 4th, so the post has been changed accordingly.

Fall Anime 2013 – Overview

Fall 2013 Anime Lineup | Saru Anime

Wow, is it that time of year already? It feels like just yesterday I was watching energetic boys in swimsuits in the summer of their lives, or something like that. Now the leaves are changing colors, pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere, and it’s time for the fall 2013 season of anime to begin. There are some really promising series premiering this season (and some that don’t look that great, but I’ll probably give them a shot anyway.) Here’s a look at the shows I’ll be checking out in the coming weeks.

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Sailor Moon Director’s New Project Revealed

Amazing Twins | Saru Anime

A teaser site and trailer were launched earlier this month for an unnamed anime project. Little was known about it, except for the fact that Junichi Sato would be involved. Name sound familiar? It should, if you’re at all into magical girl series. He’s been involved with quite a few big name titles, including Sailor Moon.

The shroud of mystery surrounding this new project has just been lifted. It’s an OVA project called Destructive Dangerous Foolish Girls – Amazing Twins (Zetsumetsu Kigu Shōjo Amazing Twins), and the “foolish action girl” who was shown in the trailer is named Amane Todoroki. This does beg the question though: twins? So where’s our other heroine?

Other big names involved in the project include Takehito Harada (character designer for the Disgaea video game series) and Mari Okada (writer who has been involved with Anohana, Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, and Black Rock Shooter, among many other series).

I really love the look of the promotional materials that have been released so far, and I’m a big fan of a lot of Sato’s past works like Princess Tutu and Pretear. It looks like Amazing Twins will be released in 2014, so I’ll be waiting impatiently until then to see the final result.

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