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!

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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.

“Salaryman Exorcist” Blue Exorcist Spinoff Getting Own Series

Salaryman Exorcist: The Sorrow of Yukio Okumura | Saru Anime

It’s what spinoffs around the world dream of becoming: their own full-fledged series, untethered by the bonds of their parents… or something like that. Poetic wondering aside, the facts are that the Blue Exorcist spinoff manga Salaryman Exorcist is getting its own series in Jump Square magazine. It started out as a single gag manga by Minoru Sasaki, created under the supervision of Blue Exorcist‘s creator Kazue Kato. It will now become a reoccurring series in the monthly manga magazine starting this October.

Salaryman Exorcist features the brother of Blue Exorcist‘s protagonist as the main character. Yukio is a straight-laced, hard-working sort of a guy; especially when compared to his irresponsible and energetic brother Rin. The new manga follows Yukio’s everyday life as he deals with the stresses that come along with being the responsible younger brother. The manga’s full title is Salaryman Exorcist: The Sorrow of Yukio Okumura. Owch. Good luck Yukio, you’re going to need it.

Blue Exorcist fans in the US, don’t forget that the movie is coming out in theaters soon!

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Free! Iwatobi Swim Club – Episode 5

Free! Episode 5 | Saru Anime

It’s been a week longer than anyone expected, but Free! Iwatobi Swim Club is finally back. Week before last, the boys worked together to help newcomer Rei overcome a few key difficulties in becoming the swimmer we all knew he could be. This week, everyone’s swimming prowess is put to the test. But are the difficulties too much for some of them to overcome?

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Sale Alert: Funimation Anime Sale on PSN

Anime August - Funimation | Saru AnimeA large variety of Funimation‘s anime offerings are on sale as part of their Anime August event via the PlayStation Network. If you’re the type who prefers to buy digital versions of your favorite series, then this is definitely worth checking out. Some popular series that are part of the sale include Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Attack on Titan, Dragonball Z, and Tiger & Bunny. Single episodes are going for $1.99 each in HD and $.99 in SD. Want to see what’s in stock? You can see the full listing here.

Sailor Moon Anime Coming Our Way This Winter

Sailor Moon 2013 | Saru AnimeIt’s about time we got an update!

While we still don’t know the plot, animation style, exact release date, or official voice actors for the upcoming Sailor Moon anime series, we do know at least one thing: it’s scheduled to stream worldwide on Niconico sometime this winter. We also now know that the new series won’t be a remake, which begs the question: what plot will the new series follow? The original anime deviated away from the manga in many places, but every major manga arc was animated in some fashion. So if this new series isn’t a remake, then what will it be?

While there’s still a lot of mysteries surrounding the new series, this is at least more information than fans had before. The announcement was made courtesy of idol group Momoiro Clover Z and Sailor Moon‘s Kodansha editor Fumio Osano (also known by fans as “Osabu”) during the second Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Event. They also announced that Momoiro Clover Z will be performing the new series’ opening and ending theme songs.

What do you think readers? Excited about the new announcement, or feeling jaded after the show was already delayed once? I’m frustrated by the lack of hard details myself, but at the same time I can’t help but be excited that Sailor Moon has made such a great comeback this year. It does make me wonder how the new series will appeal to fans this time around. Will the new series be like the first and aim for a younger demographic, or will it cater to the adult fans that grew up with the show? Perhaps it will strike a careful balance. Whatever the contents of the show may be though, it’s certain that young and old fans alike are going to be tuned in to that first broadcast.

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