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How Love Live! Sunshine!!’s Least Popular Character Rocketed to #1

In the beginning, the waters were rough for the character Kanan Matsuura in Love Live! Sunshine!! One of the nine new girls introduced as part of the school idol group Aqours, the deep-sea diver turned idol was among the least popular, even placing dead last in the very first center election—the process by which fans vote for the lead performer for the next album. A year later, however, Kanan’s fortunes have reversed dramatically, to the extent that she’s the center for Aqours’ newest single, “Happy Party Train.” While there are likely a number of factors that go into changing people’s opinions of a character, the Love Live! Sunshine!! anime undoubtedly played a major role.

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10 Robots that Deserve to Be Soul of Chogokin Figures (Part 2)

“Soul of Chogokin” represents an apex of excellent giant robot toy design. With the release of Voltron and the first Megazord from Power Rangers, one has to wonder what might come next. While the obvious choice is the Dragonzord, there are plenty more robots that are worthy of the Soul of Chogokin treatment. In the last article, I gave the first five of the robots I’d love to see as Soul of Chogokin figures. Now, here are the last five.

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10 Robots that Deserve to Be Soul of Chogokin Figures (Part 1)

The Soul of Chogokin line is the premiere brand for high-quality giant robot figures. With the recent release of the Soul of Chogokin Voltron, as well as the upcoming Soul of Chogokin Megazord from Power Rangers, even more eyes are on it to bring out fan favorites and nostalgic mecha. I'd love to see even more robots get the star treatment, so here’s Part 1 of my list of robots that deserve to be Soul of Chogokin figures:

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The Shonen Jump Meat Grinder: Why So Many Manga Die Young

As the home to mega-hits such as Dragon Ball and Naruto, Weekly Shonen Jump is the most famous manga magazine in the world. If you’ve been paying attention to the magazine over the past few weeks, you might have noticed that they’ve been launching one new title after the next, such as We Never Learn by Taishi Tsutsui and U19 by Yuji Kimura.  This is because Shonen Jump is a cutthroat competition for space. Titles that fail to succeed are quickly canceled and replaced, and these new works are the latest batch attempting to survive. Given the frequency that new series get aborted, I refer to this process as the Shonen Jump Meat Grinder. You might just see your new...

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How Dragon Ball Super Made Dragon Ball Better

Dragon Ball is undoubtedly one of the definitive works of anime and manga. However, criticisms of it (especially the series Dragon Ball Z) have been mostly fair. Historically, the television series have featured an absurd amount of filler (mostly in the form of characters powering up), fights that drag out for what seems like an eternity, and extremely sparse characterization and character development. What makes Dragon Ball Super special is that it basically tosses all of that out the window, resulting in a surprisingly well-paced product—something that is typically not associated with Dragon Ball.

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Good Idol/Wise Sister: Dia, Ruby, and Notions of Ideal Japanese Women in Love Live! Sunshine!!

There are two phrases in Japanese culture that are traditionally said to describe the “ideal Japanese woman.” The first is Yamato nadeshiko, which roughly translates to “Japanese carnation.” The second phrase is ryousai kenbo, or “good wife, wise mother.” The two terms collectively create a seemingly monolithic image of what it means to be the perfect Japanese women, one that is steeped heavily in cultural sexism. However, there is a significant amount of range within this general concept, and I find that the two characters who really demonstrate this plasticity are the sisters of Love Live! Sunshine!!, Dia Kurosawa and Ruby Kurosawa. This is not to claim that fans of either Dia or Ruby are sexist, or that their appeal...

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Heaven and Hell: Keijo!!!!!!!! Anime Reference Explanation

The bizarre fanservice fighting anime Keijo!!!!!!!! (aka Hip Whip Girl) parodies many different action series. However, while some attacks (“Shoryucans”) are fairly obvious in their origins, the final episode of Keijo!!!!!!!! features a reference that might not be so familiar to current anime fans. When rival character Maya Sakashiro performs the attack “Heaven and Hell,” she’s actually referencing the mecha anime, King of Braves Gaogaigar.

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