The Asterisk War Episode 21: The Climatic Phoenix Festa Battle
Anime / May 30, 2016

In Clinching Victory, the 21st episode of The Asterisk War, Amagiri Ayato and Julis Riessfeld complete their match against AR-D. We learn Toudou Kirin’s fate. Dirk Eberwein and Ernesta Kühne discuss opportunities for future collaboration. We learn a little more about the past of Yabuki Eishirou, Ayato’s mysterious friend. Finally, we see a shocking revelation about Ayato’s sister, Amagiri Haruka. Amazon has some interesting Asterisk War merchandise. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Ayato and Julis continue their slug-fest against AR-D, who grows more powerful by the moment. They’re able to push him so hard he releases release so much power that he injures himself. They use the time to come up with a counter attack. Julis is wounded; Ayato’s at the limits of his endurance. Will they be able to prevail? After the Festa is over, Eishirou confronts the kidnapper and reveal’s the kidnapper’s name. How did Eishirou know? And why was the kidnapper so afraid of Eishirou? Flora tries to blame herself for all the trouble, but Julis comforts her — and Flora collapses sobbing in Julis’ arms. Julis and Ayato meet with Madiath Mesa, chairman of the Festa’s steering committee, who says he’ll try to help find Ayato’s sister. What we learn…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 7: Interlude to Intrigue
Anime / May 28, 2016

In Begging the Heavens, the seventh episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, the break-neck pace of the first part of the season eases up a bit. The Koutetsujou finds a station that’s still populated by humans. Mumei get to enjoy herself for a change — she even goes shopping with Yukina, Kajika, and others! Ikoma and Takumi teach a bushi to be more polite to a merchant. And finally, we get to meet Mumei’s brother, Biba. Amazon has a lot of interesting Kabaneri merchandise. Please check these out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) The Koutetsujou finds Shitori Station still full of living people (instead of Kabane), and they stop for some much needed provisions. Ayame takes Kurusu and Kibito on a courtesy call to the station’s leaders, who were busy meeting with a representative of the Shogunate. That visit is filled with political intrigue and bodes badly for our heroes. After waiting for as long as Ayame thought was enough, she decides to demonstrate their jet bullets to a minister. He finds the demonstration so impressive that he agrees to help provision the train. Meanwhile, Ikoma and Takumi were stocking up on supplies when a bushi barges in and demands the merchant drop what he was doing to fix the bushi’s gun. Takumi objects so…

The Asterisk War Episode 20: Flora and the Machine (AR-D!)
Anime / May 23, 2016

In The Asterisk War episode 20, The Phoenix Showdown, Julis Riessfeld and Amagiri Ayato face off against the artificial life forms RM-C and AR-D in the final round of the Phoenix Festa. Sasamiya Saya and Toudou Kirin, despite their injuries, launch an effort to rescue Flora Klemm. Can Ayato and Julis stand against the two rapidly evolving artificial life forms without Ser-Veresta? Will the assassin who doesn’t value his own life kill Flora before Saya and Kirin can extract her? Amazon has some memorabilia related to The Asterisk War. Check them out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) Ayato and Julis bring another one of their solid, well-thought-out strategies into the match with AR-D and RM-C. They fight hard, but as we all saw coming in the last episode, the two artificial life forms from Arlequint Academy decide to use the move they used against Saya and Kirin: RM-C shed herself of her Luxes and gave them to AR-D. Without Ser-Veresta, how long can Ayato last, even with Julis’ support? Saya and Kirin enter the abandoned hotel where Flora’s being held. Saya pulls the door open, and Kirin uses her blade as a mirror to examine the room. Seeing Flora seemingly alone, Kirin rushes in, only to be forced to…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 6: Head for the Light!
Anime / May 22, 2016

In Gathering Light, the sixth episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Mumei comes face to face with her limitations; Ikoma shocks everyone when he tries to fight alone; and Sukari does the unthinkable: he proves that he’s sometimes good to have around! Amazon has some great Kabaneri merchandise. Here’s a sampling: What Happened (Spoiler Free) Mumei remembers being in the field, seeing a woman solider, apparently from her team, pleading for help as her arm bleeds from a Kabane bite. Another solider shoots her. Mumei’s brother looks on silently and tells them to get moving. Then Mumei regains consciousness only to find that she’s trapped under rubble. Her face begins to glow with orange veins. Try as he might, Ikoma can’t free her, and Mumei tells him to leave her. Of course, he doesn’t. The huge creature from the last episode chases the the Koutetsujou, which manages to retreat to a shelter within the station. The community “leaders” who advocated for getting rid of the Kabaneri before are at it again, this time in retaliation for the plan going badly. Ayame resists with the support of Kibito and some of the other bushi. They try to come up with another plan while Sukari studies a map. Mumei continues to argue with Ikoma…

The Asterisk War Episode 19: Finding Flora and An Old Foe Repurposed
Anime / May 16, 2016

In The Asterisk War episode 19, Battle Song, Amagiri Ayato finds out the stranger he met was way more helpful than he could have hoped. Also, Yabuki Eishirou calls in help from an old foe. Finally, Ayato and Julis Riessfeld meet AR-D and RM-C in the final match. If you like The Asterisk War, you might like this from Amazon: What Happened (Spoiler Free) Ayato meets a stranger who leads him away from his pursuers. He’s suspicious that she knows his name, but she puts his concerns to rest when she points out that his disguise is terrible, and he’s been on television lately because of the Phoenix Festa. One pursuer does catch up with them and, seeing the young girl, decides to attack her first with lewd intent. At first, Ayato thinks he needs to protect her. She quickly disabuses him of that assumption when she handily kicks the man half way through a concrete wall. While he was still in shock, Ayato agreed to let the woman help him find Flora. He discovers her true identity and is even more shocked. Sasamiya Saya and Toudou Kirin won’t allow Ayato and Julis to go after Flora. Instead, the two of them head to the…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 5: Where There’s Smoke…
Anime / May 15, 2016

Inescapable Darkness, the fifth episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, shows how our heroes encounter a station that has fallen not just to the Kabane, but the mysterious Black Smoke of Kabane. Also, Mumei meets an old friend, then develops a terrible attitude. Ikoma tries really hard to be competent! If you like this series, then you may like some of this merchandise from Amazon: What Happened (Spoiler Free) The Koutetsujou arrives at Yashiro Station, but they find it overrun with Kabane. They still need to travel through the station, but a tower has collapsed across the rails. The survivors speak of a Black Smoke of Kabane, but they don’t remember the details — they’re too terrified. Mumei meets a man previously in the employ of her brother. He tells her that being close to the people in the train has dulled her edge. Her brother might discard her! This terrifies her to the extent that she distances herself from Ikoma and his plan to fire up the boiler and use the steam crane to remove the crumpled tower from the tracks. During the fight, she acquits herself well, until the second and third waves wear her down. A Wazatori appears as the crane lifts the…

The Asterisk War Episode 18: Slash Slash/Burn Burn and Ayato in the Field
Anime / May 9, 2016

In The Asterisk War’s eighteenth episode, Scrambling, Amagiri Ayato and Julis Riessfeld compete in the semifinals match. At the same time, Sasamiya Saya and Toudou Kirin continue the search for Flora Klemm. After his match, Ayato joins them in the field and takes a different approach. Amazon has some merchandise based on The Asterisk War. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Julis and Ayato take on two worthy opponents in their semi-final match. Kirin and Saya continue their search for Flora, though Saya gives into a moment of frustration that in the long run only strengthens her resolve. Ernesta Kühne and Camilla Pareto discuss their goals and the effects that Kirin and Saya’s match had on RM-C and AR-D. Ernesta in particular seems to have second thoughts about her conversation with Dirk Eberwein. Finally, after a brainstorming session with Irene Urzaiz, Ayato searches for Flora in a different area of the city, only to run into armed and sinister men. While trying to avoid them, he runs into a woman he’d never met before who offers to help him. The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful! What Happened (Spoilers!) Saya and Kirin continue their search for Flora in the run-down area of the city. So far,…

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 4: The Fruits of Stupidity and the Scenic Mountains
Anime / May 7, 2016

In Flowing Blood, the fourth episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, we learn that stupidity isn’t always rewarded (sometimes karma steps in!). We also learn that some Kabane can learn considerably more than we expected! Plus, a trip through the beautiful mountains — teeming with tons of Kabane! In appreciation for not living in the same world as the Kabane, check out some related merchandise from Amazon! What Happened (Spoiler Free) The Kabane attack and force the Koutetsujou to get underway before repairs were complete. The skittish crowd, under pressure from demagogues who want to consolidate their own power, lock Mumei and Ikoma, along with friends, in the last car. After pressuring Ayame to give up the train’s master key, some of the demagogue and his followers try to detach the last car. Unfortunately for them, they had to go outside to do it. Also unfortunately for them, their foolish demagogue overlords ordered the train to change course from the plains to the mountains, theoretically because would be shorter. Unfortunately, the mountains teemed with Kabane, who rained down on the train and killed the men trying to detach the car. The men also left the outside door open, and the Kabane poured into the next to last…

Caw of Fame: Chrome Shelled Regios
Anime , Caw of Fame / May 4, 2016

What’s it mean to be in the Caw of Fame? It’s a take-off on Hall of Fame, and since crows make the sound “caw…” Well, I think it’s funny. For a series to earn this “honor,” it has to meet these two criteria: the last episode has to have debuted at least a year ago and I have to like the series. A lot. As in re-watching it over and over. Without any more fanfare, please welcome Chrome Shelled Regios to the Caw of Fame! Amazon has some interesting merchandise from this series. Please check it out! Chrome Shelled Regios: What’s it About? Chrome Shelled Regios takes place in desolate and destroyed world. Humans cannot survive for long in the wild, so most of them congregate in gigantic mobile cities called Regios. Not only is the world inhospitable, but it’s full of savage creatures called Contaminoids. They come in all shapes and sizes. The smallest can kill a human; the largest can destroy a Regios. Despite the odds, humanity struggles onward in part through diversity. Some cities excel at combat and authority, like Glendan, whose Queen rules over the Heavens Blades. They are gifted warriors who wield weapons far beyond what a…

The Asterisk War Episode 17: Saya and Kirin Fight the Good Fight; Where’s Flora?
Anime / May 1, 2016

In The Asterisk War episode 17, The Tyrant’s Puppet Strings, Sasamiya Saya and Toudou Kirin go flat out against the two artificial life forms RM-C and AR-D. Also, we see Flora Klemm converted from a maid in waiting to bait! Amazon has some cool Asterisk War merchandise. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Saya and Kirin continue their battle against RMC-C and AR-D from the last week. Kirin had gained AR-D’s respect in the last episode and built on that respect this episode. In spite of her strengths, though, AR-D’s able to learn every move she makes, so each subsequent attack becomes more difficult. Saya, too, began to earn RM-C’s (more grudging) respect. As the battle progresses, though, the artificial life forms wear down both Kirin and Saya. Flora’s kidnappers contact Amagiri Ayato and Julis Riessfeld with demands that Ayato seal his weapon, the Ser-Veresta. Otherwise, Flora might be done for. The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful! What Happened (Spoilers!) RM-C, shaking off Saya’s attack from last week, admits she feels humiliated that Saya landed a blow. In retaliation, she removes her limiter and attacks at her full strength and speed. In spite of that, Saya lands a hit….

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