By Meghan Ellis.
There are two things that jump out at you when you first play Hakuoki, whether you’re familiar with the visual novel genre or not; firstly, that it’s been made by people who obviously really love what they’re doing, and secondly that this game is going to school players in 19th century Japanese politics.
This doesn’t seem like an obvious premise for a dating sim, but that’s what Hakuoki is at its core. As somewhat of an otome game connoisseur (otome or otoge being a genre of story-based games aimed at young Japanese women), Hakuoki blew me away with its seamless blend of attractive young samurai and the difficulties an outcast militia would face in the strict world of late Edo-period Japan. Yes, you can romance these handsome samurai, but what kept me playing until 3am on multiple occasions was genuine concern over the rising tensions between the Imperialist and Shogunate factions, and how my ragtag warriors were going to be caught in the (literal) crossfire.
And don’t worry if you’re not an expert in Japanese history: the game features an excellently in-depth encyclopedia which features both insightful information into the overall situation as well as motivations for important characters’ actions and behaviour. It’s really easy to switch between these tidbits of knowledge and the main game itself; as a whole, Hakuoki runs really well on mobile devices, with easy to grasp touch screen controls and an uncomplicated UI. An added bonus over previous iterations is the screenshot function, allowing you to take a sneaky snapshot of your favourite warrior to set as your wallpaper, or lockscreen if you’re really daring. Or, you can capture some of the comedic relief scenes, which are a welcome tension-break in the world of handsome young ronin. I won’t spoil what’s going on here in the picture at right but it’s a familiar set-up for any anime fan. Continue Reading
The latest episodes of our simulcasts are available to UK & Ireland. Click on the images below to watch them.
(You can find details on the first 3 episodes of the above shows by clicking on the pictures above as well.)
By Andy Hanley
Having enjoyed a successful TV series and one theatrical outing in the form of The Beginning, Tiger & Bunny returns for an all-new and much-anticipated adventure courtesy of a second film, The Rising. So, what’s next for the NEXT?
Hero TV has introduced an all-new Second League of heroes, although given the powers and abilities on show perhaps “Sunday League” would have been a more appropriate title. Thanks to Kotetsu’s waning powers, it’s this group of misfits to which both of our titular heroes are attached, although that doesn’t last for long as entrepreneur and Steve Jobs-a-like Mark Schneider soon snaps up the company, owning both heroes with a view towards furthering his own empire.
The result of this power-play brings a new hero into the fold – the confident, self-obsessed Golden Ryan, although with a number of increasingly strange “accidents” occurring around Stern Bild this newcomer and his fellow superheroes are kept decidedly busy, as a plot unfurls that seems to mimic the legend surrounding the creation of the great city itself. Continue Reading
By Raz Greenberg
When the first edition of Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy's The Anime Encyclopedia came out in 2001 there was nothing like it, literally. The closest thing to a comprehensive source of information about the thousands of anime titles out there was the listings in the Internet Movie Database, which largely contained basic production information and credits with little or no context. Then The Anime Encyclopedia came, and changed everything. Suddenly it was possible not just to learn who worked on what and when, but also get a sense of what kind of role a title played in the history of anime, and if it's even worth your time. The Anime Encyclopedia was also where many fans got to learn for the first time just how far back their hobby goes – that there was animation in Japan before Tezuka, and that contrary to common opinion, Tezuka wasn't even the first to produce TV anime. In working on the encyclopedia, Clements and McCarthy applied the same high standards that guided them in their many years as anime critics, providing deeply-researched information and uncompromising reviews – taken to a scale few people believed was possible.
But even in 2001, something felt anachronistic about flipping through hundreds of pages or going through the alphabetical index in search of an entry. Searchable online databases were still in their infancy (though as mentioned above, IMDB was a sign of where things are headed) and reference books were already abandoning the world of hard copies in favor of digital editions, if not on the web yet than on CDs. This problem continued with the 2006 second edition, which included the welcome addition of thematic entries and entries devoted to specific industry figures, but was still bound to a physical (and now thicker) printed volume. The biggest change introduced by the recently-published third edition is that it has now gone digital, available on different readers. Continue Reading
It's time for the latest edition of the newswire; our weekly roundup of Anime Limited related news. This week titles highlighted (but not limited to) include Wings Of Honneamise, Kill la Kill Part 3, Durarara!!, our spring season simulcasts and more. Read on below for the details.
~ The wait is finally over as the Collector's Edition Blu-ray/DVD combi of the classic Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise is available to buy now! We posted an unboxing of the set last week (that also includes details on the release itself) HERE.
~ In case you missed it last week our latest Podcast is available for you to listen to now! In this podcast we reveal some new details relating to our upcoming releases of Kill la Kill Part 3 and Space Dandy Season 2. Plus we answer a variety of questions from the community, give you some background info about our simulcasts of Seraph Of The End, The Heroic Legend Of Arslan and Plastic Memories. You can get all the details on this episode of the podcast HERE. Continue Reading