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"Blue Exorcist" Vol. 3: Devil Feud Cake

Blue Exorcist is definitely not the kind of series you want to launch into the middle of. Whether it’s the kind of series you want to launch into at all is a different question, and you’d best consult Nick Hobbs for an answer to that one. But it’s up to me to say something about […]

".hack//QUANTUM": Hackery Down to Its Smallest Constituent Part

My first suspicion that .hack//QUANTUM was going to live down to its name–hackery down to its smallest possible constituent parts–came in the opening credits, which inform the viewer that it is “Based on ‘.hack’ series by .hack CONGLOMERATE.” Never mind the presenter’s “Engulf and Devour”-like name. How much room could there be for personal, idiosyncratic, […]

"Ben 10: Ultimate Alien": The Mostest Special-est Snowflake

We know the bad guy in “Simian Says” deserves what he gets, because he screams and rants and threatens and all but flings his own poo at our heroes just before some big jaws close around him. But that’s Ben 10‘s style–it’s also present in “Prisoner 775,” which paints any police or military force Ben […]

"Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040": Wreck of the Robots

But things gradually grind to a halt once the real big baddie emerges. It turns out that boomers are a simplified version of an advanced bio-mechanical breed that had to be buried when it threatened to turn into an Omega-level threat to humanity. Mason, who is one of those psychotic idealists always threatening to destroy […]

"Wild Grinders": Amateur Hour

I’ve just finished watching Wild Grinders, the new Nicktoons series about skateboarders, and I now hereby withdraw all the mean things I ever said about Disney’s Kick Buttowski. There is nothing like awful amateurishness to make one appreciate dull professionalism. Wild Grinders comes from pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, who executive produces and provides the voice […]

"My Little Pony FIM": "A Canterlot Wedding" Isn't Quite a Match Made in Heaven

Suffice it to say that, for various reasons not relevant to a critical notice, I don’t get to watch American cartoons except when they get shipped to me for review. So, my only background to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic‘s “A Canterlot Wedding” (my goodness, that’s a lot of words to use when identifying […]

"Danny Phantom" Season 2, Part 1: Only a Ghost of a Chance

I wish I liked Danny Phantom. That isn’t just the pious desire of a reviewer who wishes well of every show or movie dropped onto his platter. I remember trying to watch this show when it was new to Nickelodeon. I didn’t seek it out, but I’d always stop and watch–without any great enthusiasm, I’ll […]

"Pound Puppies": Cute Enough to Eat All Up

Pound Puppies is another one of Hasbro/The Hub’s relaunches of a classic toyetic title from the 1980s, right alongside its phenomenally successful My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The show suggests two things. First, that its stablemate’s great success is no accident: someone, somewhere, seems to be doing a very good job ensuring that these […]

Briefly: Int'l Co-Pros for CG Preschool Series

* Zodiak Kids, High 1 Entertainment, and QQD are partnering to produce Quick, Quack, Duck!, a 3D animated preschool series based on the short film “The Happy Duckling.” [World Screen] * Thunderbird Films and Flux Animation Studios will coproduce Wiki the Kiwi, a new CG-animated preschool series about the friendship between a bird and a […]

"Hey Arnold": The Urban Jungle Gym

Hey Arnold! is one of those “classic” Nickelodeon series that I never watched when it was on the air. It’s from what I dismissed as the network’s “goody-goody” era: when it seemed to take its mandate as a “kid network” seriously and (after the Ren and Stimpy debacle) shied away from genuinely cartoony material, favoring […]

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