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Yus!

The weekend is over, and that means that the usual suspects are up on the official streaming sites – the new One Piece is up on FUNimation’s side, Fairy Tail and Sora no Woto on Crunchyroll, and InuYasha: The Final Act on Viz. The new One Piece is interesting, since it’s one of the few times you’ll ever see Luffy utterly beaten, while Fairy Tail has a lot of topless Gray for your fangirl pleasure.

There are two older shows that deserve your attention, though: first, Crunchyroll has decided to get people ready for the upcoming Gundam Unicorn by posting the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, and while it’s incredibly dated, it’s still worth seeing as a historical piece. The second is Buso Renkin, a series that has old-school action sensibilities and perhaps the most awesome opening theme in the history of anime.

Out of the two, I’d suggest skimming Gundam for a few minutes as a historical frame of reference, but you really should go back and watch Buso Renkin because it’s actually way more fun in anime form than it was in manga form.

That's our Lina!Flash back to the ’90s with FUNimation’s dub of series revival Slayers Revolution, which not only brings back one of the biggest fantasy franchises of the last decade, but brings back the original dub cast well over a decade after Slayers last saw an American release. The style of comedy may seem a bit dated to modern anime fans, but the show is still worth watching. So check it out on FUNimation’s video site or the Slayers Revolution YouTube channel and see if the classic fantasy/comedy still works for you.

A major turning point of One Piece is coming this weekend too, as Luffy and Chief Warden Magellan finally meet face-to-face and fist-to-fist. The show’s really picked up the pace after some slow filler episodes, so you definitely shouldn’t miss this episode.

See you on Monday!

It's not gay if your swords don't touch, guys, remember that.

The weekend’s always a busy time for anime, since so many popular shows air on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Three of the big streaming highlights were the usual shounen fare, but there are some hidden gems with a lot of potential that you should keep an eye on, too.

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One Piece the Movie: Strong World

ANN reports that the new One Piece movie has broken the record for per-screen revenue over the weekend, beating out the Japanese opening weekends of both Ponyo and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The film earned over 1 billion yen (a little under $12 million US) in its first two days, which also beats out the entire take of the ninth One Piece movie.

This isn’t really that surprising given the amount of promotion that went into this movie, which is attached to a mind-bogglingly popular manga that sold over 14 million copies in 2009 alone. Between four episodes of the anime dedicated to ramping up to the movie, a chapter of the manga, and an original manga that was given to ticket holders of the movie, there’s no way that the One Piece-loving portion of the population, which is over two million strong, was going to miss this movie, which presents an all-new story penned by Oda Eiichirou himself.

One of these ninjas is not like the other, one of these things does not belong!

Over on the English Shonen Jump page, you can find two new videos from the Jump Anime Tour in Japan – one is a Naruto short done in all CG, set back when Sasuke was still on the side of Team Kakashi. Another is the very first anime ever made from the Toriko manga, which is an odd little story about a hunter who tracks down exotic wildlife for the tables of gourmets.

Meanwhile, the Japanese version of the Jump video page is streaming a trailer for the One Piece Strong World movie, which comes out in theaters in mid-December. The page also promises a Yu-Gi-Oh! movie trailer in the near future, for the upcoming crossover between the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and its successors, 5D’s and GX.

All anime is made better by people biting other people's heads.

And now for something completely different: this week’s One Piece brings a new kind of “filler” that really isn’t. Penned by Oda himself, this week’s episode starts up an entirely new story meant to lead up to the 10th movie, Strong World. Based on what we have so far, it could be a fun ride!

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Hei, Mao, and Mizuk... I mean Misaki.

Image from the official FUNimation site.

First, let me get my obligatory plugs out of the way – One Piece starts an all-new, Oda-penned short story this weekend, as the anime and manga both start telling the tale of the Gold Lion before Luffy and friends face him in December’s One Piece movie.

Meanwhile, InuYasha: The Final Act seems to have found its groove again, so if you were a fan of the first series, it’s time to pick it back up!

In more personal recommendations, I just finished watching the latest episode of Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini. It had the most emotional cake-eating scene I’ve ever seen, and I don’t even mean that sarcastically.

I highly suggest that you go back and watch the whole Darker than Black first season, which is available online from FUNimation. It has everything – superspy action, shadowy politics, an incredible soundtrack, great cinematography, and just enough comic relief to keep the show from being utterly gloomy. The only problem is that it leaves behind a lot of unanswered questions, so hopefully the second series will start answering those. It’s a pretty big time investment, but it’s definitely worth the watch.