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Eric Thurm


Should You Watch Ranking of Kings? A Prospective Viewer’s Guide

Do you like “nice” TV, but wish it was a little less… well, nice? Did you enjoy Parks and Rec, Ted Lasso, and every other show that’s been called “radical” solely because it lacked conflict, and now feel a little embarrassed about it? Do you want to feel good about…

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Ranking of Kings

FEATURES

Should You Watch Raised By Wolves? A Prospective Viewer’s Guide

Do you miss classic sci-fi TV, with its blend of heady ideas and almost laughable production value? Do you wish you could still roll out of bed on a Saturday and watch endless episodes of Farscape or Babylon 5? In other words, do you miss when sci-fi TV was fully…

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Raised By Wolves

FEATURES

Who Will Be Watchmen’s Next Dr. Manhattan?

The penultimate episode of HBO’s Watchmen ended with a shocking development: Doctor Manhattan, the series’ only character with actual superpowers and the closest thing Watchmen has to a god, is captured by the white supremacist Seventh Kavalry and sent to his presumptive demise.  Exactly how this happened is a little…

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Watchmen

How Psycho Pass Explains The Housing Crisis

In some ways, Psycho Pass is pretty easy to classify. The series, which premiered in 2012 and is currently streaming on Hulu, is a classic dystopian sci-fi story: it takes place in a future Japan where the unseen computer Sibyl System constantly measures the mental health and general motivation of…

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FEATURES

A Tale of Two Trainers, Chapter Three: Premature Conclusions

Welcome to A Tale of Two Trainers, a series where Features & Trending Editor merritt k and Fanbyte Contributor Eric Thurm play through Pokemon Sword and Shield as very different trainers with very different priorities. Previously, our heroes challenged the first two Galar Gyms. In this installment, they meet untimely…

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FEATURES

How to Make Better Reboots With The Help of Friedrich Nietzsche

Why do we reboot popular media? Of course, there’s a financial motivation — this thing did well, so we’ll try it again, and wring millions of dollars out of consumers’ nostalgia for Batman or whatever. But the business incentive for rebooting old properties only exists, or continues to exist, in a…

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FEATURES

Anime Takes on Life in a Post-Collapse World With Dr. Stone and 7SEEDS

A medium that exploded in popularity in the wake of multiple atomic detonations, anime has long dealt with ecological frailty — which is to say, the fraught relationship between humans and the litany of other organisms and environments that make up the Earth. Several Studio Ghibli classics, like Princess Mononoke…

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FEATURES

Pokemon Masters Review: Gotta Friend ’em All

If you want out of a Pokemon game is the experience of catching, naming, and raising Pokemon while clearing the gyms of a fantastical region then no, Pokemon Masters is not a great Pokemon game. The new mobile game from DeNA doesn’t even provide the Pokemon Go portion of the…

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REVIEWS

5 Pitches for British TV Series Starring Pokemon

Finally, Nintendo seems to have given up on designing tons of new Pokemon. This lack of imagination sounds like it should be a bad thing, but it’s actually led to the best element of recent Pokemon games: updated, regional versions of classic Pokemon that look absolutely insane. Consider the humble…

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LISTS

Evangelion’s Long Shots Hold Its Audience Hostage

For a show about angst-ridden, volatile teenagers piloting enormous cyborgs through a series of cataclysmic battles, Neon Genesis Evangelion is remarkably calm. Sure, the series occasionally erupts into a massive, city-leveling fight. And sure, one of the characters (probably Asuka) might yell at someone, exploding in a fit of pique. But…

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FEATURES

Kengan Ashura Falls Flat as Corporate Fight Club

Early in Netflix’s new anime series Kengan Ashura, an adaptation of the manga of the same name by Yabako Sandrovich and Daromeon, the CEO of a major corporation lays out the hidden shape of the world: nearly all serious business transactions are secretly resolved by brutal fistfights.  This is kengan:…

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FEATURES

Why the Second Season of One Punch Man Doesn’t Quite Land

The long-awaited second run of One Punch Man, based on artist ONE’s acclaimed webcomic, premiered in April and wrapped at the beginning of July. The reviews were, to put it mildly, mixed. Other publications have covered the reasons for the decline in quality — changes in personnel, the shift in…

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FEATURES

Jumanji 4 is Absolutely Going to Be Fortnite

In a world of unlikely franchises, the success of Jumanji stands out as especially bizarre. The original children’s book about animals escaping from a board game was first adapted into a ’90s movie about a kid getting sucked into the same board game and turning into Robin Williams, followed by…

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FEATURES

Aggretsuko’s Power Walking Women Are Basically Dragon Ball Z Characters

There are a lot of things to love about Aggretsuko, the Netflix anime series about Retsuko, an adorable red panda who is deeply unhappy at her office accounting job. The show, written and directed by Rarecho, an animator who first came to mainstream attention with the Flash-animated series Yawaraka Tank,…

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FEATURES

Did Bill Nighy Shtup His Ditto in Detective Pikachu?

I really, truly cannot stress enough how excited I was for Detective Pikachu. The first trailer was released just days after I’d had major surgery, and it sent me into a giddy haze. I immediately made a Google Calendar event for an opening night screening. While I was waiting, I…

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FEATURES

Shirobako Has a Lot to Say About Women at Work

The upcoming FX series Fosse/Verdon centers on Bob Fosse’s creative partnership with his estranged wife, Broadway star Gwen Verdon. It’s part of a recent attempt by shiny TV shows to excavate the often-invisible work of women in creative fields — Ryan Murphy’s Feud dug into the psychic toll of Bette…

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FEATURES

Psycho-Pass Does Dystopian Storytelling Right

Fictional dystopias are, increasingly, boring and lifeless. When so many of the usual concerns of the genre — sexism (The Handmaid’s Tale), anti-intellectualism (Fahrenheit 451), and bread and circuses distraction (The Hunger Games) are so obviously woven into the fabric of everyday life, why even bother? These stories often boil…

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FEATURES

Monster Factory Movies That Need To Exist Immediately

In a cultural climate where remakes, sequels, and reboots are the name of the game, it’s almost impossible to find viable intellectual property. Most beloved characters are already owned by someone, whether that’s Disney, Marvel (owned by Disney), or Fox (owned by Disney). Wandering through this wasteland, a light emerges:…

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LISTS

Haruhi Suzumiya and the Tragedy of Entertainment

At first glance, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya appears rather whimsical. The show, which originally aired in 2006 and 2009 and is based on a popular series of light novels, follows totally average teen boy Kyon as he accidentally becomes friends with the title character, a manic, overbearing girl who…

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FEATURES

Embracing the Absurd in Steins;Gate

On the surface, Steins;Gate seems like a simple thrilling, twisty time travel story about trying to escape fate. And on one level, it is: the 2009 visual novel, adapted into an anime series in 2011 and then readapted into a game using visuals from the anime as the just-released Steins;Gate…

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FEATURES