Anime Attack, The Binge

The Binge – Prince of Stride: Alternative

The Binge –  Prince of Stride: Alternative

One of the more complete series to come out recently was “Prince of Stride: Alternative”.  In a pretty basic “slice of life – sports” anime, the series has a very male-centric cast, with only one central female protagonist. Nana Sakurai, stride fan and team manager joins the stride club with Jock-Of-All-Trades Riku in their first year at Honan Academy.  Stride is a combo relay-race parkour game which includes the use of a “relationer” (Nana’s role) to help the team members pass their baton successfully.

In episode one, the stride club has seen better days – dwindling to three members and taking on the secondary mantle of “chess club” to keep it going.

The plot of the anime is actually pretty tame: it has the traditional hot springs episode, but there’s not a lot of really inappropriate clips for introducing new watchers to the genre. In the meantime, Prince of Stride: Alternative features a really, really strong focus on being team players, taking on challenges, and overcoming obsticles (all of the puns intended).

Watching this just before Yuri on Ice really makes the latter pop, and is a great follow-up without getting too invested in something heavy.

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Anime Attack, The Binge, Wildcard Wednesday

Six Ways to Binge your Anime

attackyouranime

1 – Take it with you

While most binges are spontaneous and happen in one’s spare time, if there’s a series that you’ve been meaning to watch, you might try out mobile apps for Crunchyroll and the like.  If your commute is longer, you can watch your show on the bus, etc.

2 – Make it a double feature

There are TONS of Anime movies out there that are out on DVD and available through Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, and Amazon.  If you have a local DVD store, they may have a few of the older ones available for rent.  Pick two by the same group, or with similar/contrasting themes, and have fun!

A really easy and common double feature/film binge is to pick a studio and watch two of their films in a row.  (Studio Ghibli has enough films for a proper bender, but it’s not recommended for the faint of heart.)

3 – The Flight

(In Seattle, craft breweries will usually have a way to try multiple flavors at one sitting, and it’s usually called a “flight.)

Watch episodes one and two of at least three different anime. If you hook in, pick which one to watch all the way through next time.

4 – Anime Club

You don’t have to binge alone – if you’re part of a high school or university you may have an anime club already, or may be able to start one.  Anime Binge was founded by a proud member of MEK Theta Sigma – a combination Anime Club and fandom community at Webster University

5 – Pick a Shorty

Most 12 ep anime series can be polished off in one day.  Some of them don’t have a proper ending (no renewal) and some are just perfect and require a second watch later to really get the gist (FLCL is a great example).

6 – Plan a day and time, and ATTACK!

Some anime series just aren’t built for distract-able people.  You can’t watch Stein’s Gate and still get the full gist if you do dub only with only watching occasionally.  Or sub only with only watching occasionally.  You will miss hint after hint of the wider story if you do.

 

One final note… In defense of “The Bender”
While you don’t necessarily want to binge the entirety of a 12 season anime in four days, there’s a perfectly legitimate excuse for The Bender – You always wanted to, and now you have, and don’t you feel better now that you have?

It’s difficult to maintain a “Bender” if you’re the only one doing it. You will have questions that you don’t have the answer to mid-season, you will have epiphanies that you can’t share with anyone else because they won’t get it.  Let AB know if you’re going to attempt a Bender and we’ll do our best to attack it with you in parallel time.  Tag us on our Facebook and let us know what you’re up to!

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News Flash!, The Binge

News Flash! Crunchymation Rising

It’s that time of year – the time when we put up our phones and quit playing Pokemon Go for the winter and find warm blankets to hibernate under.  It’s Anime-and-Chill season, or rather, AnimeBinge season.  With winter breaks coming up, Thanksgiving Holidays in the US, an other holidays around the world, there’s no better time to hunker down and watch a show that you’ve been meaning to get around to.

With that in mind, we thought it might be a good idea to bring you a little news from the anime world.  If you already have a Funimation or Crunchyroll subscription, you should have already gotten some updates about this.

Funimation + Crunchyroll = better subs on Funimation and new dubs on pre-subbed Crunchyroll shows

But what does this mean for the average fan of either format?

  1.  Funimation is taking on the role of distributor of the merchandise and video releases for the two companies at this time.  (Crunchyroll will no longer be offering purchase/pc download options for videos on their own site)
  2. Some Funimation subs will be taken down (standard rotation – think of how Disney never releases their entire movie collection in one year – they parse them out to create scarcity), and others will be replaced by Crunchyroll versions of the subtitling.
  3. This is not an official merger.  Since it’s a distribution partnership, they could disentangle and go their separate ways whenever they feel like it, and neither of them should necessarily lose any traction in the anime distribution circuit because of it.
  4. They’re hoping that the simulcast season will be tighter with the merge, and have been throwing around the phrase “within 2-4 weeks of broadcasting”… but they are putting emphasis more on the expanded capability of having a broader skilled team to create amazing work.
  5. The subscription for Funimation does NOT cover the  streaming services available at Crunchyroll (with their free vs premium service) and Vice Versa.  Funimation lowered the price of their premium plan to help subscribers buy both subscription plans (the Crunchyroll plan and Funimation Premium plan)

 

(And if you know all of that already – that’s PERFECTLY FINE.  But: I’m looking to add more content to the blog, and I’m really curious – what have you been watching?  What series are you excited about?  What do you think about Miyazaki’s choice to – AGAIN – come out of retirement?  Leave me your comments, I’d love to hear them!)

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The Binge

Election Day Special: Anime to watch after you go vote.

Ahem… if you are in the US, Go vote. 

If you are not in the US, we at AnimeBinge are sorry that we’ve been all preachy about voting this year.  And weird with our candidates.  We’re so sorry, that we decided to compose a list of imaginary ballot issues in hopes that you will forgive us for this weirdness that happens once every four years.

Why?  Because #betterfictionalcandidates should have never had to exist, that’s why.  So why not embrace it.

But Anime Bracket did that better.

We’re not mad about it.  But, as usual, we do have a few series to suggest.

Le Chevalier D’eon

On the run from the law, D’eon is accused of the death of his sister – Lia de Beaumont.  Something sinister is at the edge of this mystery – possession, zombies, obsession, politics…  how was D’eon to know that his life would become so weird, so quickly?

  • Reasons to watch:
    • Great to compare/contrast with newer anime – some of the frames are very carefully staged, with hand-drawn animation.  Also worth contrasting with Pilgrim’s Progress
    • One of the best EARLY examples of a strong female protagonist in anime
  • Reasons to avoid:
    • Intermittently S….l….o….w… pacing.
  • What to watch instead:
    • Glass Fleet
    • Revolutionary Girl Utena

Castle Town Dandelion

Eight kids. One throne. Sounds like a set-up to Game of Thrones, anime edition.  Well, you’d be wrong.  This one’s a slice-of-life magical-teen edition.  In a world with a polite monarchy, the kind townspeople decide to choose a king.

  • Reasons to watch:
    • Twins, Fanclubs, Idol stories, School arcs, Magic
  • Reasons to avoid:
    • A frustrating amount of “panty shot” jokes
      • (But they’re an anime staple and there are less of them at the end, so YMMV)

Lord Marksman and Vanadis

Go read this review, because it’s pretty on point.

Anime Binge is working on ramping up posts again.  What anime are you watching post-election?  What are you excited about coming out?  We’d love to hear your comments!

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Anime Primer, The Binge

Robotics; Notes – The Anime to Watch When You’re Frustrated with Pokemon Go

The world is afire with exclamations about Pokémon Go this weekend.  Similar to the real-world platform of Ingress, Pokémon Go superimposes Pokémon for your catching pleasure with the help of an app-based system.

fill_750_468_2016-03-15-02-24-40-pokemon_go_expectation_vs_reality

(Credit: Mediacraft *)

While Kotaku appears less-than-impressed with the launch (laggy early gameplay doesn’t give the best impression to hardcore gamers), adults and kids alike in the US have been throwing imaginary pokeballs at the adorable monsters they have come to love from over 15 years of games, TV shows, and other general merchandising.  Let’s face it, they outstripped or outlasted Pogs, Tamogotchi, Digimon, and Furbies thanks to their immense following and world-wide connection.

Sharing in the spiritual connection between AI and tablet/phone games to their users is the IRUO interface in Robotics; Notes.

Granted, Kaito Yashio does the standard “superimposion” of silly things like cat ears on his friend (and by all rights co-main character) Akiho, which has been pretty standard since Instagram filters hit the scene.

As the series is set “Ten Seconds into the Future” – 2019, to be exact – there is a secondary interface which allows a more immersive, Ingress-esque experience that leads to a world away from the “Big Robot” experience you have come to expect from DVD covers like this:

Robotics;Notes_2012_DVD_Cover

To use his tablet to pick up sensors, Kaito has to move his camera over the area around him, which is fed information about the surrounding area. (For example – when his camera picked up that a whale washed up on a beach, it appears to provide a public service warning, etc.)

Robotics;Notes_IRUO

(Credit: Funimation)

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the story focuses on both homage and deconstruction of the “Big Robot” genre, but I absolutely recommend a watch or re-watch for anyone over the age of 16 who has gotten a foot cramp after wandering over hill and dale for Pokémon without getting better at the aim of their pokeballs.  Or because the server failed again.  Either one, really.

(SPOILER WARNING:: There is an on-screen death, hence the high-age warning.  Younger watchers may be advised, but the rating is closer to PG-13 for the rest of the series.)

 

HAVE FUN, AND GO GO GUNVARREL!!!

(*- Original source not tagged/found – will update if found)

By the way, have you had any success catching anything? Comments below!

 

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Anime Primer, The Binge, Uncategorized

The Binge: Fullmetal Alchemist & FMA: Brotherhood

I started collecting the Manga for Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA) around 2004.  At some point, I had to make a choice: keep collecting, or look into other series.

That’s not too far removed from the decision that the team at Studio Bones had to make when it came to choosing a gecko ending for the 2003 version of FMA as an anime.  So it’s somewhat confusing to watch the first, and then watch the second – there are a few arcs that you can’t watch for the first time twice.

You can, but the shock is missing.

Luckily, the 2009 anime (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – FMA:B) glazes over the parts that it expects you to know.  ALMOST.

There are a few story arcs that are worth a watch in the 2003 series first.

The 2009 anime completely eliminates the Youswell arc. It’s worth a watch, as one of the characters from the 2003 arc shows up in FMA:B.  When he finally meets up with Edward, Ed has a “For me, it was Tuesday” moment. (As did most of the newcomers to the story, I’ve no doubt.)  They resort to a clip show to explain what happened, but it’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment.

There is more attention paid to the state alchemist exam and a major plot point that is gently touched on in the 2009 arc regarding Shou Tucker.  These episodes are ALSO worth a watch in the 2003 anime before going back to the 2009 arc.

The redux of the Cornello arc is arguably smoother in the 2009 arc, and for obvious reasons – quicker.  You miss out on finding out how he’s been manipulating Rose, though. so if you are curious, you CAN watch the Cornello arc in the 2003 anime as well.

I would argue that there’s no reason NOT to watch the 2009 anime first if you don’t want to hop from series to series.   I had already watched the first series, albeit a while ago.  So I knew what was up with Shou’s arc before it happened, and had a vague (VERY vague) recollection of Youswell.

One last thought:

When the manga ran out of episodes, the 2003 anime lived on, to make a satisfying ending for the direction they were headed in.

And it’s obviously different.  And PERFECT for those who watch through the 2009 anime and are craving more stories from Ed and Al, teenage alchemist misfits.

NotInBrotherhood

(This is Psiren. Have fun guessing which series!)

TL;DR – Both series are worth a watch.  Pick a series to watch the Shou Tucker arc  in – you only get to see it for the “first time” once. Have fun.

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