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Featured image for An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride episodes 2-4Background image for An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride episodes 2-4

An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride episodes 2-4

Episode 2 Rating: B Episode 3, 4 Rating: B+ In my Preview Guide entry for episode 1, I had mixed feelings about this series and the seemingly-stereotypical path…

USA Anime

Featured image for Spica & Wolf (2024) episode 3 + English dubBackground image for Spica & Wolf (2024) episode 3 + English dub

Spica & Wolf (2024) episode 3 + English dub

Episode Rating: B+ This week the English simuldub begins, lagging two weeks behind. Brina Palencia and J. Michael Tatum are back reprising their roles from the dub of…

USA Anime

Featured image for Spice & Wolf (2024) episode 2Background image for Spice & Wolf (2024) episode 2

Spice & Wolf (2024) episode 2

Episode Rating: A- Episode 1 may have established the series’ operating premise, but episode 2 is the series’ make-or-break episode, the one which determines whether or not viewers…

USA Anime

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Review: Gushing Over Magical Girls

In the world of shy, average teenager Utena Hiiragi, magical girls become celebrities by openly fighting to defend cities from evil organization Enormita. Utena adores and idolizes Tres…

USA Anime

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Spice & Wolf: merchant meets wise wolf episode 1

Note: Because I find this title obnoxiously long, I will hereafter be titling these Spice & Wolf (2024). Rating: B+ The base concept here seems simple enough: a…

USA Anime

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Spring 2024 Preview Guide

Looks at the first episode of each anime series debuting in the Spring 2024, posted as they debut!

USA Anime

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Winter 2024 Wrap-Up

With the last handful of titles for the Winter 2024 season having now aired, let’s take a summative look at what worked well and what didn’t this season.…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 24 (season finale)

Episode Rating: A Overall Series Rating: A After the dramatic events, revelations, and symbolism of last episode, there was really only one final climax possible for this series,…

USA Anime

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8 Lessons From Frieren

With its 28th episode, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End ends its initial run. By any reasonable metric, it has been a huge hit on both sides of the Pacific,…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 23

Rating: A The Apothecary Diaries is undeniably Maomao’s series, though Jinshi has increasingly had his viewpoint represented of late. That makes episode 23 a major aberration, since not…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 22

Rating: A- Though he’s hardly one of the more likable characters in the series, Lakan is still an intriguing one. He’s ferociously smart and a superior judge of…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 21

Rating: B+ Though The Apothecary Diaries has been set up almost from the beginning to ship Maomao with Jinshi (and Jinshi is clearly starting to see her romantically…

USA Anime

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Winter ’24 Mid-Season Round-Up, part 2

In Part 1 last week, I covered series that have not been getting episode reviews at Anime News Network. In this installment, I will be offering my take…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 20

Rating: A The Incident may be over, but the mysteries surrounding it aren’t, and as this great follow-up shows, they may not be for quite some time. Jinshi…

USA Anime

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Winter ’24 Mid-Season Round-Up, part 1

Really, this should have been started last week, when the earliest-starting series were first hitting episode 7s, but sometimes real life intrudes. Anyway, I have plenty of time…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 19

Rating: A+ This episode represents the biggest dramatic peak in this part of the story. It is the culmination of everything that has happened so far this season…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 18

Rating: A I was going to skip reviewing this one separately and just combine it with episode 19, rather than post a review this late. However, episode 18…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 17

Rating: A There have been other strong episodes in this series, but this one is a microcosm of what makes this series stand apart from most other series…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries: Episode 16

Rating: A- Another episode, another mystery for Maomao, but this time it’s a longer one – taking up nearly the whole episode – and doesn’t involve the cause…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 15

Rating: A- If you’re an anime-only viewer, this episode is one you might want to bookmark to come back and watch again later on, as it drops a…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 14

Rating: A- Episode 14 contains the sequence that I was probably most looking forward to seeing animated from this part of the story: Maomao’s lessons to the four…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 13

Rating: B+ After a week off, the second half of the series begins, shifting the adaptation into the territory of the second light novel and the 5th manga…

USA Anime

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Winter 2024 Preview Guide

Coverage of the Winter 2024 anime season begins! Check aback regularly for updates through 1/14.

USA Anime

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2023 in Review: The Best and Strangest of the Year

As we say good-bye to 2023, it’s time to take a look at the highlights of the year as a whole, rather than just individual seasons. And my,…

USA Anime

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Fall ’23 Wrap-Up

Most of the non-continuing series from the Fall season are now in the books, so let’s look at how they wrapped up. As with this article’s predecessor (the…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries episode 12

Rating: B+ The situation at the heart of this episode is one quite familiar to any fan of romances with class-based complications. The higher-ranked man wants to be…

USA Anime

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The Eminence in Shadow episode 32 (season finale)

Rating: B+ Ragnarok is upon us! Well, sort of. Really, it’s just an opportunity for Shadow to fight a boss monster-type foe while his Shadow Garden minions do…

USA Anime

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Review: Pluto

This ONA series, which debuted on Netflix in late October, has a very interesting pedigree. It adapts a lauded manga by Naoki Urasawa (the manga-ka behind titles like…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries episode 11

Rating: A+ Barring a stunning collapse in the next couple of weeks, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is not going to be beat for best series of the season…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 31Background image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 31

The Eminence in Shadow episode 31

Rating: B+ During the last couple of reviews, I wondered why the succession of the Oriana Kingdom bypassed the former queen and went straight to Rose. This episode…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries episode 10

Rating: B+ Last episode began a narrative shift away from individual mysteries and more towards how certain mysteries may be connected into a bigger picture. This episode continues…

USA Anime

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Review: The Boy and the Heron

Despite some flaws, this is still a movie well worth seeing.

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 30Background image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 30

The Eminence in Shadow, episode 30

Rating: B+ As I watched this week’s episode, I was struck by the thought that I have been overlooking one big inherent irony: Shadow Garden’s behavior is itself…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries, episode 9

Rating: A- One of the major factors which makes this series a top-tier title for both the season and year is its effortless ability to mix its comedic…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 29Background image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 29

The Eminence in Shadow, episode 29

Rating: B The prostitute Marie was shown too prominently back in episode 21 for her to not pop up again later, so it’s little surprise that her reappearance…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Apothecary Diaries, episode 8Background image for The Apothecary Diaries, episode 8

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 8

Rating: A- Maomao’s back home, so naturally she’s going to get involved in a brothel-related mystery while there. Actually, two arise, and both are left open-ended, though in…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 28Background image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 28

The Eminence in Shadow, episode 28

Rating: A- What self-respecting anime series with a bevy of sexy ladies in its cast – especially one with a reputation for pointed use of fan service –…

USA Anime

Featured image for Fall ’23 Mid-Season Round-UpBackground image for Fall ’23 Mid-Season Round-Up
Featured image for The Apothecary Diaries, episode 7Background image for The Apothecary Diaries, episode 7

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 7

Rating: B+ If last episode was the big showpiece of the garden party, this episode is the metaphorical side of the clean-up. It covers in efficient fashion a…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 27Background image for The Eminence in Shadow, episode 27

The Eminence in Shadow, episode 27

Rating: A- Confirmation bias is a psychological characteristic whereby people tend to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in ways that align with their pre-existing beliefs or…

USA Anime

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Movie Review: The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes

Posted: 11/13/2023 Note: This review is based on the subtitled version. A dubbed version is apparently also circulating, but that was not shown in my area. The Tunnel…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Apothecary Diaries, episode 6Background image for The Apothecary Diaries, episode 6

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 6

Rating: A- More than any other, this particular shot strikes at the essence of how much of an adorable little freak Maomao is. It is the franchise’s signature…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 26Background image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 26

The Eminence in Shadow episode 26

Rating: B+ The series has been cycling through members of the Seven Shades for feature treatment this season, and this episode is Alpha’s turn. What we learn about…

USA Anime

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Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 25Background image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 25

The Eminence in Shadow episode 25

Rating: A- It’s now official: Gamma is an absolute terror on the battlefield, and not necessarily for any good reason. My sympathies go nearly as much to the…

USA Anime

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The Apothecary Diaries episode 4

Rating: B+ Despite the ominous episode title (“The Threat”), this episode focuses almost entirely on dealing with the consequences of a previous mystery rather than initiating a new…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 24Background image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 24

The Eminence in Shadow episode 24

Rating: B+ Any time a new business comes powering into – and dynamically changing – a market to the degree that the Gamma-led Mitsugoshi has, a big backlash…

USA Anime

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Debut: The Apothecary Diaries episodes 1-3

Streams: Crunchyroll on Saturdays Rating: A- (overall) Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End and The Eminence in Shadow looked to be the early front-runners for the season’s best series. With…

USA Anime

Featured image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 23Background image for The Eminence in Shadow episode 23

The Eminence in Shadow episode 23

Rating: B+ The Lawless City arc concludes with this episode, bringing to the table many of the signature elements the series is known for: Shadow engaging in the…

USA Anime

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Review: The Eminence in Shadow, episode 22

The Fall 2023 season’s episode reviews start with me continuing my episode reviews on this title from last time around. I will also be episode reviewing The Apothecary…

USA Anime