Anime Review: Shirobako

Aoi Miyamori and her friends Misa, Ema, Shizuka, and Midori dream of making an anime together. After screening their club’s short film for the Cultural Festival in their last year of high school together, the girls are determined to chase their dreams with renewed passion and vow to turn their short into a full-fledged anime one day. However, the reality of the working world doesn’t allow for much dream-chasing. Two full years after debuting their club’s film at school, the girls find themselves struggling to even make ends meet in a grueling industry. Stressed-out and unsure of herself, Aoi works as a Production Assistant at the floundering Musashino Animation studio. After a long hiatus, Musashino has plans to make a big comeback with their new show, Exodus. They’re banking everything on Exodus being a hit, and it’s sink-or-swim time for Aoi. Nothing is ever easy, though. As mounting problems threaten to throw the entire production into chaos, Aoi will have to hold onto her sanity and take charge if she and her friends ever hope of making their dreams come true…

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Anime Review: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)

It’s June of the year 1983, and Keiichi Maebara has recently moved from the bustling big city to the quiet mountain village of Hinamizawa. A town so small, it only has a single schoolhouse with a single teacher. Keiichi manages to make fast friends with his new schoolmates, Mion, Rena, Rika, and Satoko, and ends up joining them in their after-school game club. As Keiichi slowly adjusts to his new surroundings, he comes to learn that Hinamizawa may not be the sleepy rural paradise it appears to be. Dark secrets, both ancient and new, shroud the village’s history. Secrets that Keiichi was never meant to discover. As the day of the yearly Cotton Drifting Festival approaches, Keiichi’s paranoia grows and his sanity begins to wane. The deadly curse of local mountain-god Oyashiro bears down upon Hinamizawa, bringing an end to the peaceful everyday lives of Keiichi and his friends. When the cicadas cry in Hinamizawa, death and mayhem surely follows.

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Anime Review: OreGairu (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)

Hikigaya Hachiman is an antisocial high schooler with no girlfriend, no regular friends, and no real desire for either one. He wallows away his youth laughing to himself as his classmates live out their high school lives in ignorant bliss. But Hachiman knows the truth: that chasing after the fabled springtime of youth is nothing but a fool’s errand. Hachiman is determined to live out his youth in comforting isolation, but an enterprising young teacher is equally determined to sabotage all of his efforts. She forcefully enlists Hachiman into the “Service Club” alongside its sole member, the beautiful and intelligent Yukinoshita Yukino. Can Hachiman maintain his composure in the presence of this ice-cold beauty, or will his time in the Service Club finally break him out of his own self-inflicted downward-spiral?

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Anime Review: Captain Earth

Manatsu Daichi is an average 2nd-year high schooler, living with his uncle in the wake the of his astronaut father’s tragic death in a shuttle accident. On the eve of his Summer vacation, Daichi sees a strange circular rainbow on the news and is immediately struck by an uneasy nostalgia. He finds himself drawn back to Tanegashima, the island of his childhood. Deep within the island’s abandoned aerospace complex, Daichi finds an enigmatic young girl and a strange gun called Livlaster. As a malevolent alien force rushes towards Earth, Daichi is faced with a life-altering choice and a single pressing question: “Are you a Captain?”

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Anime Review: Gatchaman Crowds

Hajime Ichinose is a normal, albeit mildly eccentric high school girl with an obsessive passion for stationary and scrap-booking. One day while preparing for lunch on the school roof, she is approached by an enigmatic figure who tells her that she is to become “the wings that protect the Earth”. The creature rips a strange notebook out from Hajime’s chest and declares her a Gatchaman, a secret warrior for justice that defends the Earth from alien threats. Hajime takes this revelation with about the same nonchalant exuberance with which she approaches basically everything else. Little do the Gatchaman know that their bubbly new recruit and a mysterious lurking darkness are about to challenge everything they’ve ever believed, and the world itself is never going to be the same…

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Anime Review: Eureka Seven

Renton Thurston is an average 14-year-old boy living a quiet life in a boring town, training as a mechanic in grandfather’s garage. And Renton couldn’t be more frustrated about it. Renton’s father Adroc is a man hailed as hero for giving his life to avert a near planet-wide disaster when Renton was a child, but Renton simply lives in the impossibly large shadow that casts on him. Renton dreams of nothing more than soaring on trapar waves with his reffboard alongside his idols, the mercenary group known as Gekkostate. All of that changes when the young and beautiful Gekkostate pilot named Eureka literally crashes into his life. Instantly captivated by the mysterious girl, Renton resolves to chase his dreams with renewed determination. However, not far behind Eureka is a platoon military pursuers, as well as the many harsh truths that Renton will have to learn.

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