Crunchyroll New Catalog Titles: Azazel, Sketchbook, Lost Universe, Ah My Buddha!!, Kyatto Ninden Teyandee, Ringing Bell, Library Wars

We’ve got another catalog title from our friends at Nozomi Entertainment, the live-action movie The Happy Life will be available TODAY at 4pm Pacific Time for users in the US and Canada. 
 
The members of Active Volcano once burned with a passion for the rock’n’roll life, but with graduation and the responsibilities of adulthood, the college bandmates eventually drifted apart…
Now in their forties, none of their lives have gone according to plan. Lead guitarist Ki-young (JUNG Jin-young, The King and the Clown) receives an allowance from his wife and attitude from his teenage daughter. Underemployed bass guitarist Sung-wook (KIM Yun-seok, The Thieves) works day and night to finance his overachieving wife’s academic goals for their two young sons. And drummer Hyuk-soo (KIM Sang-ho, Moss) owns a used car dealership to provide for his wife and children, who have relocated to Canada – without him.
The three friends reconnect at the memorial service for their lead singer, Sang-woo. Ki-young takes Sangwoo’s death hard, and it sparks his determination to reunite the band. With Sang-woo’s son (JANG Keun-suk, You’re Beautiful TV) stepping into his father’s role as vocalist, can the members of Active Volcano take the stage once again? 
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Hey everyone! 
We’re back with another catalog addition, and we’re excited to announce that Library War will be available to Crunchyroll Members in the US and Canada at 7PM PT tonight!

Summary: Iku Kasahara wants more than anything to be an ally of justice–just like her prince. In the current age, the Media Betterment Act has allowed the Japanese government to impose heavy censorship on the expression of ideas, particularly those from books. When her favorite childhood book was marked for censorship, Iku felt that oppression firsthand, but she (and the book) was saved by a man from the Kanto Library Defense Force… her prince! Inspired by his example, Iku joined the Kanto library to safeguard expression of freedom, all while searching for the man she idolizes. Despite her natural athleticism, she’ll have her work cut out for her, as her instructor seems to have a chip on his shoulder regarding her.
Enjoy! 
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The news is already out, but the classic movie Ringing Bell has joined the Crunchyroll lineup, both subbed and dubbed versions for Crunchyroll members in the US and Canada!
 
Chirin is an innocent though adventurous young lamb whose carefree life on the farm comes to an abrupt end when a wolf murders his mother. Confused and angry, Chirin pursues the wolf into the mountains, seeking revenge. The laws of nature are brutal, however, and hatred alone won’t be enough to avenge the loss of his mother. Only the strong survive in the wild, and obtaining that strength may change Chirin forever.
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Our catalog announcement for today is none other than the comedic music-focused drama Nodame Cantabile Drama! 
Nodame Cantabile will be available TODAY at 5pm Pacific Time for Crunchyroll members in the following territories: USA, Canada, Central and South America including the Carribean, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
 
Noda Megumi, also known as Nodame, is a weird, freewheeling piano student at Momogaoka School of Music. She meets a well-to-do, elite piano student, Chiaki Shin’ichi, who aspires to become a conductor. In the time they spend studying music, playing in orchestras and practicing for competitions, the two make friends with an assortment of eccentric musicians.
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In continuing with our catalog announcements from last week, today we have the original series that became known as Samurai Pizza Cats, Kyatto Ninden Teyandee! 
Kyatto Ninden Teyandee will be available today at 4pm for all Premium members in the US and Canada, with free users being able to watch 27 episodes this week, and the remaining 27 episodes next week.
 
It’s felines fighting felons in this fantastic furry farce! A mixed-up city of old and new, Little Tokyo is an old-fashioned Japanese city populated by robotic animals, where samurai cats working out of a pizzeria punish packs of pugnacious pillagers all to protect the peace of the people. They’ve got their work cut out for them, for in between the speedy delivery of pizza pies, the dirty rat (quite literally) of a politician named “Big Cheese” plots to control the city, and with his reach far exceeding his grasp, he’s continually cooking up constantly crazier contrivances!
Stay tuned for more announcements this week!

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Today’s catalog title comes also courtesy of Nozomi Entertainement, as the subbed and dubbed versions of Ah My Buddha!! joins the catalog lineup starting at 4pm Pacific Time for Crunchyroll Premium members in the US and Canada! Free members will be able to catch 13 episodes each week starting this week.
 
Sixteen-year-old Ikkou Satonaka has raging hormones that make every other boy’s look simply weak in comparison. When he gets turned on, he’s literally turned into a super-powerful Buddhist monk capable of vanquishing the most evil of spirits! Ikkou’s parents send him to the Saienji Temple to train to become a proper monk under the watchful eye of his grandmother. One of his first challenges is to learn to control his lusty desires – but that’s easier said than done when he’s surrounded by a bevy of beautiful nun trainees who keep losing their clothes! Can Ikkou pull himself together, or will his pervy nature win out?
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Our catalog title announcements continue today thanks to our friends at Nozomi Entertainment as the cast of Lost Universe joins the Crunchyoll lineup for members in the US and Canada starting at 4pm Pacific Time, which includes both the subbed and dubbed versions! Free users will be able to watch 13 new episodes each week.
 
Millie Nocturne has one great goal in life: to be the best in the universe – at absolutely everything! But when she tries her hand at being the “best detective,” she ends up an unwilling partner with two people who will change her life forever: Kane Blueriver, the psi-blade-wielding master of the starship Swordbreaker, and Canal, the smart-mouthed holographic image of the ship’s computer. Join this unlikely trio on their adventures as they hurtle through space facing off against intergalactic crime lords, rogue starships, and hijackers dressed as chickens… and that’s just the tip of the asteroid!
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We’ve got our second announcement already today, as Sketchbook ~full color’s~ comes today at 7pm PT for everyone in the US and Canada!
 
No matter where she goes, Sora takes her sketchbook along. The world is full of mysterious and beautiful things, after all, and Sora doesn’t want to miss a single one. The best way she knows to capture each moment is by drawing and sketching, watching and learning. However, though Sora is full of wonder, she’s also incredibly shy. She doesn’t have many friends, except for her fellow classmates in the Art Club. But even though they all seem to be slightly crazy (the teacher included), each of them adds another bright color to Sora’s world.
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Hey everyone, we’ve got a slew of catalog titles coming this week, starting with You’re Being Summoned, Azazel TODAY at 4pm for Premium members in the US and Canada! Free members will be able to see season 1 this week, and season 2 starting next week.
 
Have a stalker you just can’t shake? Fear your spouse is being unfaithful? You might consider hiring Akutabe, a detective who summons demons to do his dirty work. While his methods might seem unorthodox, he always gets results. However, as powerful as Akutabe is, manipulating demons is delicate art. His new part-time employee Sakuma, a young college girl, doesn’t get to spend too much time exploring the finer points of controlling demons before Akutabe forces her into a demonic contract with Azazel. Azazel is lazy, lustful and depraved… Everything you’d expect a demon to be. Sakuma needs to keep Azazel on a tight leash, but to do that, she may have to dabble in a little depravity herself.

Don’t miss what tomorrow’s catalog announcement will bring, right here on Crunchyroll!

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T-Mobile’s Binge On Brings More Cowbell: Now Over 80 Video Services Stream Free Without Using Your Data

T-Mobile’s Binge On Brings More Cowbell: Now Over 80 Video Services Stream Free Without Using Your Data

Latest expansion brings network TV, popular music services, anime and more to Binge On

Google Play Music, NBC, NOGGIN, Radio Disney, Spotify, TIDAL, Univision and more join the list of over 80 video services that now stream without touching your LTE data

T-Mobile customers have already streamed more than 377 million hours of video without using their high-speed data in just six months

May 17, 2016 10:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time

BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Whether you’re into Saturday Night Live, Twin Star Exorcists, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon or can’t get enough of Beyoncé’s Lemonade, T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) has you covered with its latest Binge On expansion. John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, broke the news this morning that, starting today, NBC, Univision, Qello Concerts and more are all joining Binge On. And popular Music Freedom services like Google Play Music, Radio Disney, Spotify and TIDAL are bringing their growing video libraries to Binge On, so now T-Mobile customers can stream both music and video without burning up their high speed data. The company amped up its latest signature move for the 5th time since launching it in November of last year – so now, customers on qualifying plans can stream unlimited video from a total more than 80 video providers without using their high-speed data.

“Binge On is a success, and our customers absolutely love it!”

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In just six months, Binge On has changed how T-Mobile customers watch mobile video. Recent numbers underscore both how positively Americans are responding to innovations like Binge On and how Binge On has fundamentally changed video consumption:

  • T-Mobile customers have streamed more than 377 million hours of video without using their high-speed data since the launch of Binge On and are watching up to 2x more from participating providers that stream free on limited data plans
  • 92% of T-Mobile customers surveyed said they’ll watch more video with Binge On, and 93% said they like the idea of having all video optimized to DVD quality so they can watch 3x more using the same amount of high-speed data
  • A huge majority (89%) of US wireless customers say Binge On would be appealing to have as part of their wireless service
  • And an even bigger majority (94%) say they’d try a new online service if it were a part of a free data offering, like Binge On

“Binge On is a success, and our customers absolutely love it!” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “In the six months since we launched Binge On, the number of video providers streaming free without using your data has grown more than 240%. We’ve got something for everyone, and customers never have to worry about getting slammed with ridiculous overage penalties. I hope Dumb and Dumber just keep pushing their mobile video schemes, it just gives consumers more and more reason to come to T-Mobile!”

Some of the video streaming services joining Binge On today include:

  • Google Play Music
  • Great Big Story
  • NBC
  • Kiswe
  • Ligonier Ministries
  • NOGGIN
  • Qello Concerts
  • Radio Disney
  • Univision
  • Univision Noticias
  • Spotify
  • TIDAL
  • Toon Goggles

Binge On is completely free to customers and providers. More information and the full list of current Binge On services can be found atwww.t-mobile.com/bingeon. If your favorite video provider isn’t part of the program, tweet us your favorite service @TMobile, along with the hashtag #BingeOn.

Binge On is another great example of how the Un-carrier does data differently. Un-carrier Data is fundamentally different – and lasts a lot longer – than carrier data:

  • With Un-carrier Data, you can stream without fear. With Binge On and Music Freedom, you can chill to your favorite tunes and shows, without stressing about burning through your high-speed data.
  • Un-carrier Data gets stashed. Unlike carrier data, your unused high-speed Un-carrier data won’t suddenly vanish after a month or two, it gets stashed for use for up to a year.
  • Un-carrier Data knows no borders. Whether you’re in the US or traveling abroad, T-Mobile’s got your back, allowing you to access your Un-carrier Data in over 140 countries and destinations without fear of penalties or access fees.
  • Un-carrier Data is blazing-fast and in more places than ever. T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network is the fastest in the US for more than two years, as tested by millions of users in crowd-sourced, real-time tests. And just last year, we added more than 1 million square miles of coverage, so T-Mobile LTE now reaches nearly every single American – over 308 million people!

Detectable video typically streams at DVD quality (480p or better) with Binge On unless video provider opts-out. You may disable Binge On at any time, but will lose benefits. Qualifying plan required; third party subscription/content charges may apply. Data Stash up to 20GB of unused on-network data from past 12 months with qualifying plan. Extremely high data usage may result in de-prioritization (& slower speeds). See T-Mobile.com/OpenInternet.

About T-Mobile US, Inc.

As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company’s advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to more than 65.5 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. For more information, please visit http://www.t-mobile.com.

Crunchyroll Is Now Part Of T-Mobile’s Binge On Service!

If you’ve been keeping up with tech news, you probably already know that T-Mobile has added a brand new service to their already existing plans. It’s called Binge On, and it gives T-Mobile customers on qualifying plans the ability to streamunlimited video from a total more than 80 video providers without using their high-speed data.

We’re excited to announce that Crunchyroll is one of those video providers! See the full list of providers HERE.

To see more information on Binge On, check out the press release HERE, and start enjoying your favorite anime on your T-Mobile plan without racking up extra data costs!

91.8 The Fan-Siege Spots – Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (PS4) Review-with @takesiege

Siege Spots – Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (PS4) Review

POSTED ON MAY 16 2016

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review

In 2008, Valkyria Chronicles launched on PS3 to critical acclaim. Critics agreed that it’s strategy RPG gameplay was a unique treat not to be missed. Now, 8 years later, after recently relaunching on Steam, it’s found its way to the PlayStation 4. It’s also found its way into my hands for the first time, after years of being curious about it. So, how does it hold up?

Unsurprisingly, good games stand the test of time, and, just as critics said in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles is a good game. There are a few games I can think of that really are just products of their time that can’t stand up in the modern age of gaming. But I firmly believe that games like Valkyria Chronicles do a pretty good job standing the test of time, conceptually.

Valkyria Chronicles-screen4For the unaware, Valkyria Chronicles is first and foremost an SRPG. Think Fire Emblem, Disgaea, or Advance Wars. The main thing setting it apart is the way combat plays out. From your top-downview above the battlefield, you select a unit and control them from a perspective reminiscent of a third-person shooter. You’re given a certain amount of actions that you can take per turn. These actions are represented by badges, called CP. Different units have different CP costs to activate, and as long as you have any badges left on your turn, you can continue to move units. You can even move units multiple times, which is pretty neat!

This freedom of movement extends to your enemy, too; they move with the same limitations that you do, and have the same unit classes that you do. It strikes a good balance; you can predict how your enemies will move, but not so much that combat becomes a breeze. There are so many little nuances of combat that might slip your mind during combat, but it doesn’t feel cheap; it’s always really clear that your poor tactics got you in to any mess you find yourself in.

And you will find yourself in a lot of messes. This game can be a bit cruel. At least, it was cruel to me. I named a bunch of SRPGs earlier in this review, but I’m not a master of any of them. So this game came to me, with my limited genre experience, and dragged my metaphorical face through the metaphorical mud. It took a while to get the hang of; there’s a certain art to placing your units, making sure they’re on guard to fire on enemies as they take their turns (as some classes of unit do automatically when enemies are in range). After a while I got the hang of it. At least, I’m pretty sure I did. As the game went on, I was able tostart thinking of my positioning a bit better than I was able to at the start.

Valkyria Chronicles-screenThat’s where my complaints with the game begin. The game tries its best to give you a little bit of a tutorial, but those tutorials don’t do much when it comes to teaching you the depths of combat. Of course, that was probably the point; not every game is going to hold your hand through its nuances. But I would have liked a little more insight into how my units worked. It was a while before I started even using snipers; it was hard to tell at the start of missions if they’d be useful or not, and I’d never used them in any of the tutorial battles.

I suppose I can’t mark that depth against it, though; I did pick it up eventually, after all. And even when I was totally lost, I didn’t feel frustrated upon defeat… With one major exception. Any time I failed because of a unit dying, I felt incredibly frustrated by the whole experience. I get what they’re going for. It’s supposed to capture the feeling of a game of chess. Protect your king and all that. And this definitely isn’t the first game I’ve played that had you fail a mission if your party leader died. But it definitely adds a layer of frustration to what is otherwise already a challenging strategy game. Though I guess, thinking hard about it, I don’t know what a better lose condition would be for a game like this.

Valkyria Chronicles_screen3I mean, it’s not as if Welkin (our protagonist) is defenseless; he’s driving a massive tank called Edelweiss around the battlefield. It’s a tank with a major design flaw, though; there’s a huge, exposed weak point on the back that, if exposed, can lead to your party leader being killed in one hit. It’s makes for a weird dichotomy, making Welkin both your strongest and weakest unit depending on the situation. He’s the definition of a glass cannon. From a practical engineering standpoint, there’s no reason to leave it exposed like that, and they don’t give an explanation as to why most of these tanks have these exposed backs as far as I saw. Some enemies had weak points that were somewhat explained, but the average tank remains curiously vulnerable. It makes for an experience akin to an interesting game of chess; it just sucks that I am clearly not very good at chess.

It’s not a problem that they made that tank decision and some others based on making for an interesting strategy game. My gripe with that, though, is that they’re clearly trying to construct a world here. They spent a lot of time on the story, clearly. It’s a pretty big focus of the game, along with the world-building, and yet they don’t trek enough in the details for my liking. But clearly they did spend some time on the game world; they even made some fantasy animal races, because why not?

Valkyria Chronicles_20160511211547That brings me to the story, which honestly… wasn’t too compelling to me. It was a little ham-fisted at times. In particular, the way it tries to work racism into the plot is very in-your-face. It plays into their pseudo-WWII plot nicely, but it’s very over the top. It was likely out of necessity, though; even though the game is pretty long, the plot moves very quickly, covering a breadth of exposition about the world and packing it densely into the cutscenes between battles. It honestly bugged me until one character said “Don’t worry about the details” in reference to an inconsistency that particularly bugged me. It was basically the game telling me to calm down; it’s just a game, after all.

Is it strange to say that a game is long and short at the same time? Because it is both. The game clocks in at around 30-40 hours, which is more than enough SRPG gameplay to whet my appetite. But it almost feels too short for the story itself. Or at least, it’s too short for the world they’re building. Maybe they expand on it more in the sequels, but I haven’t personally played them. Besides, this isn’t a review of those.

Jumping back to the game itself, I’d like to talk about the sound a little. In menu and in cutscene, the music does a fantastic job suiting the mood. It always rises when it needs to, and falls to more morose tunes when the time comes. In battle is a different story. Regardless of the situation, the music is always pretty constant. It does a good job of fitting the overall mission; it just isn’t very dynamic. I don’t expect every game to have a technical marvel of dynamic music, but it’d be nice to see a difference between when I’m in the middle of an intense firefight and when I’m being a bit more stealthy. There’s a notable change in tension between the enemy’s turn and mine, but when I started noticing how the music didn’t really match the way I was playing at times, it was hard to ignore.

Valkyria Chronicles_20160511183152There is one aspect of dynamism in combat, though, and that’s the characters themselves. The soldiers under my command oozed with personality. I definitely developed favorites; there was no way I was going in to a battlefield full of tanks without bringing Aunt Yoko and her massive rocket-propelled lancer in to battle with me. Every unit has unique personality, and I really love that. Games like X-COM have a similar vibe, but it just never worked for me before. Those characters were more like avatars to project your own ideas of personality onto, while the units in Valkyria Chroniclesare fleshed out characters. It was honestly very impressive to see in a game like this. It’s certainly not the first to do this sort of thing (or maybe it was back in 2008), but that doesn’t make it any less refreshing.

The voice acting definitely works in these characters’ favors. In battle or in cutscene, the voice acting shone through. The direction behind these actors is remarkable. They do a good job conveying emotion, and they definitely all feel like part of the world. The only voices I really had issue with were the intercom voices that the game would pepper you with when you stood still. Even those didn’t get too annoying though; they varied up enough, and I was typically more focused on my strategy than what they were trying to tell me.

Adding to these character’s personalities are buffs and debuffs called “Potentials” that each character has. These are traits such as “Country Bred” and “Fancies Men.” These little seemingly-random traits affect the way characters behave in battle, such as gaining stat boosts while on grass or near other people. Honestly, while neat in concept, these traits sort of fell by the wayside for me. I would notice these traits as they got triggered in battle, but I didn’t go out of my way to accommodate them.

Valkyria Chronicles_sI can’t forget to mention the graphics. This is a remaster, after all. The graphics definitely age well on this one. I’m sure care was taken in upscaling things for this release and making sure things were up to snuff, but there’s no denying the timelessness of cell shading. The cartoonish graphics work as well as they ever did. It’s nothing eye-melting or mind-blowing, but the polish and care shows. The game runs smooth as butter, looks great, and feels nice.

In the end, Valkyria Chronicles is a strong contender in the SRPG genre, just like critics back in the day said it was. I’m glad I finally got a chance to give the game a shot; it really does live up to the hype it generated all those years ago. I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up in ’08, but if you’re in the same skeptical boat about its gameplay mechanics, I urge you not to wait 8 years to give it a go. Just don’t expect a Shakespearean story.

Crunchyroll Is Coming To ACEN!

Hey everyone!

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be at Anime Central in Chicago next weekend – May 20th-22nd!

You can find us at booth #25, where we’ll be giving away posters to Premium and new members! We’ll also have ourstore where we’ll have a bunch of exclusive items for sale!

– KIZNAIVER t-shirt
– SPACE PATROL LULUCO t-shirt
– Crunchyroll-Hime t-shirt
– Crunchyroll decals
– Crunchyroll-Hime pin set
– Mystery bags

We have three panels over the weekend!

– Friday @ 7:30pm in Panel Room 1: Simulcast Preview panel
– Saturday @ 3pm in Panel Room 1: Crunchyroll Industry Panel
– Sunday @ 1pm in Panel Room 1: Working in the Anime Industry

There’s more! For those of you not attending the convention, we’re teaming up with Attack The Music for Synergy again this year! We’ll be live streaming the show on our Twitch and trust me, you don’t want to miss this year’s lineup!

See you next weekend, Chicago!

91.8 The Fan-#KanasKorner-Interview with Keith Silverstein and @kananetwork

Kana’s Korner – Interview with Keith Silverstein

POSTED ON MAY 07 2016

KeithSilverstein

Overwatch is one of the hottest new soon to be released games out there and who better to give us some inside info then the one and only Torbjorn. Keith Silverstein joined in today to have some laughs and talk about his latest roles in Overwatch and Hunter X Hunter

How To Stalk Keith Silverstein:

91.8 The Fan-The Wandering Witch – Flying, Frying, and Desperately Trying

The Wandering Witch – Flying, Frying, and Desperately Trying

POSTED ON APR 19 2016

FlyFryTry

Welcome, all, again. Let me begin by admitting that I have been completely overwhelmed by the choices this season, and have not had the chance to watch even half of what I wanted or planned. That said, I love what I have seen! Past favorites God Eater and The Asterisk War have both returned, pulling us back from those respective cliffs upon which we were cast and abandoned months ago. (Just so you know, it was worth the wait!) Several entertaining new shorts have also joined the lineup, notably SPACE PATROL LULUCO, at just under 8 minutes per episode, and Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro, at 9 minutes per episode. Both follow young protatonists who struggle in developing and integrating new pursuits into their lives, one from quiet student to aggressive law officer, and the other from restaurant worker to aspiring DJ. But I’ll focus this column upon three other offerings: Flying Witch; Twin Star Exorcists; and Anne-Happy.

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Flying Witch has thus far been a pure joy to watch, a simple and understated slice-of-life treatment of experiencing adolescence as a witch.[Imagine Kiki’s Delivery Service if somebody had slipped Kiki a Valium–OK, several Valium–and you’re getting there.] Makoto Kowata is a teenage witch-in-training who has been sent to live with her cousins, the Kuramoto family. Makoto is a sweet and friendly girl with an easy smile and a terrible sense of direction. She does, however, seem especially skilled in herb lore and the preparation of medicines, and exhibits great excitement when introduced to new plants. But just to make sure that she keeps up appearances, she also flies by broomstick (which she admits quickly becomes uncomfortable) and keeps a black cat as a familiar–obviously, some people just appreciate stereotypes! As her stay lengthens, Makoto’s presence draws other magical beings into her orbit and her family’s attention. This is subject matter that has been both well-covered and–much more rarely–covered well, but the quietude of this show works its own magic. This is so far my favorite new series of the season.

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Twin Star Exorcists, on the other hand, is a loud and rambunctious riot of destructive magic, featuring fights between actual enemies (exorcists and demons), between should-be allies, and even between would-be spouses. Benio Adashino and Rokuro Enmado are two 14-year-olds with the shared power of exorcism. Thing is, Rokuro wants nothing whatsoever to do with this ability, still trying to escape the pain and guilt he feels from his friends’ deaths at the hands of demons (Kegare). Benio, meanwhile, sees her role as exorcist as a holy calling and isdetermined to push as far as she can, vowing to personally destroy all Kegare. And once their paths cross, both of their lives become infinitely more complicated. Rokuro despises Benio’s gung-ho attitude, while she is in turn disgusted by his rejection of his abilities. And just when they thought they couldn’t dislike each other more, Arima Tsuchimikado, overall leader of Japan’s exorcists, announces that they must marry and produce a child(!) who will become the ultimate exorcist. Hmmm, this show might get even louder.

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Anne-Happy is, by comparison, a rather happy medium–a comic slice-of-life following a class of students who seem unnaturally unlucky. Making matters worse, or at least more humiliating, is the fact that individual class members are diagnosed with particular forms of bad luck, such as unrequited love or poor health. And while the professed goal of their teacher is to help them defeat their difficult situations by overcoming their bad luck, these students will face plenty of pain and embarrassment along the way. But at least they won’t face it alone! Anne (Hanako), Ruri (Hibari), Botan, Hibiki, and Ren are determined to support each other as they escape Class 1-7’s doom and gloom designation. But sticking together comes at its own price as individual misfortunes coalesce into group calamities, so get ready to cheer these underdogs forward!

And so I find myself enthralled by this season’s offerings, however little time I have to devote to enjoying them. The titles mentioned here are my primary picks for this Spring, although I am watching others. Old favorites have returned, even as new favorites emerge. Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro is probably the season’s most original new show, but I find myself repeatedly drawn to the welcoming quiet of Flying Witch. I could simply melt into its peaceful rural setting. Twin Star Exorcists succeeds as both action/adventure and comedy, whereas Anne-Happy can be seen almost as an extended, serialized buddy film. And these shows, as good as they are, are just the vanguard of a promising season with even more titles waiting to be explored and enjoyed.