iPhone apps for anime fans

Japanese Phrases FREE

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This is an excellent app for anime fans who want to get their feet wet with basic conversational phrases. Lessons begin with simple vocabulary words before pressing onward to some of life’s most important questions, like “Where is the bathroom?” You can also select to hear a recording of each word and phrase to help you with your pronunciation and test yourself with the included quizzes. Best of all, it’s free. So there’s really nothing to lose as long as you’ve got about 9 MB of free space on your iPhone.


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This is the most robust Japanese dictionary app we could find for the iPhone. In addition to lists of expressions, proverbs, and separate lists of kanji characters featured on the official Japanese Language Proficiency Test, this app also lets you look up characters by stroke count or by radical. Serious students of the language will get the most benefit from all of the features on this app. But it also works great as a standard Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese dictionary for any everyday otaku who wants to look up the definition for a word from time to time.

Above: You can also pull up an animation that shows you the stroke order of any kanji character

Above: This app is well worth the price for anyone with an interest in the Japanese language

Unfortunately, when it comes to actual anime, there are not a whole lot of options for fans. According to the internet, Hulu is working on an iPhone app, which could make their gigantic library of free anime, TV shows, and movies available for everyday iPhone users. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got.


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vSNAX says that you’ll be able to use this app to watch your favorite top TV for free. What they really mean is that you’ll be able to watch tiny promotional-sized clips of your favorite TV shows for free. In addition to short clips from CBS News, Discovery Channel, and VH1, vSNAX also offers brief clips from G4TV and Anime Network. Unfortunately, the small collection of short segments and promos on there are pretty useless, and pale in comparison to the amount of content you can view for free through official channels on the web. Still, it’s a completely free download so there’s really nothing to lose. Plus, checking out clips from the Street Fighter anime and catching up on the latest from Adam Sessler is a great way to kill some time while you’re waiting for the bus.

Above: A spunky Sakura searches for Ryu and somehow manages to lose her shoe

Naruto Shippuden – Homecoming

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Above: Sasuke and Naruto catch up on old times with the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox in the first episode of the Shippuden series

Mezzo Anime Network

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Above: Like just about every anime action girl, Mikura likes stuffing her face with snacks

Azumanga Daioh

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There are no guns, Orwellian governments, giant robots, or ninjas in Azumanga Daioh. What strangers to the series will find, however, is a tale that follows a group of close friends through the trials and tribulations of high school. Chiyo is a ten-year-old girl, who’s skipped several grades with her Dougie Houser-like intelligence. Osaka is a wandering spirit with her head in the clouds. Tomo is like a hyperactive hamster on Adderall whose endless energy gets her into all kinds of trouble. And then there’s Sakaki, the tall, “cool” girl with a secret obsession with “cute” things.

Like the Mezzo app, this Azumanga Daioh app comes with the series’ first episode and a few extras like wallpapers and story background. It’s definitely not worth the price if you’ve already seen the series or consider yourself to be a frugal shopper. But, if you haven’t seen Azumanga Daioh, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. It’s clean, charming, pure, hilarious, and an uplifting way to end our journey through the sometimes savage otaku-friendly apps we’ve seen so far. Plus, we really just wanted to end this short article on a positive smut-free note.

Above: Just kidding!

Aug 20, 2009

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