SDS of Ogiue Maniax fame recently remarked that his circle of friends and co-workers "automatically gravitate towards pairings" and that they were skewing his perception of anime fandom. This struck me as somewhat odd, but the more I thought about it, the more I had to admit the practice is much more commonplace on, say, the Twitter, than I had noticed. Because I am not a 'shipper, I guess I never appreciated how prevalent 'shipping happens to be, and that fans who reflexively 'ship characters of shows they watch might respond with greater aversion to implications that I might ignore.(more…)
For the most part, I think viewers of Hibike! Euphonium consider Asuka to be a bit of a comic relief character. This is an understandable position given that she's constantly fucking with people and generally has one of the more energetic personalities on the show. Nevertheless, there have been numerous hints dropped both in the first season and in the current one suggesting that Asuka has some sort of shit going on that the viewer doesn't quite know about yet.
Not being familiar with the source material, I don't have any idea if there's anything to these hints, or whether we'll see them addressed this season in the remaining episodes of the show, but it seems likely. Perhaps Kyoto Animation has been showing off Chekhov's euphonium all this time with no plans to toot that horn, but I like my chances. You know what's not gonna get resolved? Reina and Taki. Never gonna happen, Reina.
Anime sure loves high school boys. Arguably, the only characters anime loves more than high school boys are middle school girls. Whether you agree with this assessment or not (and don't take it too seriously, okay, this is why I don't have comments enabled), I don't think I'll get much opposition if I claim a lot of (mostly shitty) anime skews towards school-aged protagonists in school settings. In the extreme, you even get shows such as Guilty Crown or Kakumeiki Valvrave where preserving a school's social structure is the single most important goal of the characters, despite living in a state of war.(more…)
Cooking shows aren't exactly a rarity in anime, but Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning) is unique in its slower pace and fairly unremarkable recipes. Rather than the usual over-the-top incredulous reactions to newly discovered flavors, Amaama to Inazuma focuses instead on the simple pleasure of preparing food and eating together. This, it does extremely well, and it's very satisfying watching the characters learning how to cook for each other. (Although it still bugs me they never wash their hands first.) However, there is an elephant in the room: the looming potential romance between teenage Kotori and her teacher, Kouhei, a recent widower. Nevertheless, through nine episodes, there has been no hint of any such subplot, so it's possible no such romance ever develops.(more…)
If you've been paying attention to the winter 2016 anime season at all, you probably noticed Boku dake ga Inai Machi (officially localized as ERASED, but sometimes colloquially Bokumachi) was a heavy favorite early on to be the season's best show. Personally, I had a few problems with the series preventing me from rating it quite so high, and a significant number of fans also grew dissatisfied with the show's second half, but ERASED is still regarded as one of this winter's best anime, despite some issues with the ending.(more…)
Dated 17 February 2015: The Changing of the Cures was the highlight of my visit to Buckingham Palace
After more than 10 years of Pretty Cure, it's sort of amazing how quickly its one-year seasons pass now. It seems as if it wasn't that long ago when Window was busy making a name for herself as the new Worst Cure Ever. She turned out all right, though, and of that I am glad. A girl can go a long way once she starts distinguishing herself by punching people in the face. As a series, Happiness ChargePrecure! distinguished itself in three major ways: (1) Its filler episodes were actually pretty good, which is fortunate because its high marks didn't hit all that high. (2) It reminded viewers that Pretty Cure as a franchise is decidedly in favor of heterosexual schoolgirl crushes on older boys, no matter what manner of lesbian dreams some of its male viewers might have. (3) There were shit-tons of scrub Cures from all around the world—enough that I fell into despair when I thought about trying to keep my Cure Rankings list updated.
Following the HappinessCharge Precure! conclusion (which was fairly lackluster in my view), Go! Princess Precure sprang into action, ushering a level-up in CG integration. Thus far, I have a fairly positive view of the new series, partly because of the gokigenyouing, partly because of the ballet, and mostly because it seems to be more about beating ass than cultivating feelings. I know I'm supposed to be opposed to the CG integration as a matter of principle, but so far it's been a net gain. None of the characters seem to stand out all that much for me, but that's the sort of minor complaint they can cure by devoting a few episodes to kicking deadbeats in the neck. If they keep up their early episode aggression, these erstwhile princesses and I will get along just fine.
Because of "circumstances," I find myself dropping about half the shows I was following this season. Well, perhaps not so much dropping as putting on hiatus for the time being. Maybe I'll catch back up during a particularly lousy season that coincides with greater anime-watching opportunities. (Won't be next season, because next season looks pretty sweet.)(more…)
I'm watching two shows this season with fairly similar basic plots. The teenage princesses in Akatsuki no Yona and Nanatsu no Taizai are both assembling teams of skillful warriors in order to defeat usurpers. That's about it with regard to their similarities, though. The remainder of this blog entry deals with themes and elements found in the source material for both anime. Although I'll avoid explicit spoilers, readers who wish to avoid learning anything in advance about either of these shows should probably just stop reading and watch both anime to develop their own comparisons. They've got princesses gettin' the band back together! Give 'em a shot!(more…)