Lost in Translation #16 – Magical Circle Guru Guru

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Hey guys, time for another Lost in Translation! Truth is, this entry is mostly about reference spotting, but it goes without saying that a big chunk of the enjoyment on this series banks on the viewer’s understanding of the Dragon Quest franchise. That’s not to say that you can’t appreciate it without having first-hand experience of the game; rather, a lot of the jokes can be missed otherwise. So hopefully, these little entries can help enrich your viewing experience if you’re one of those people who hasn’t played Dragon Quest back in the 80’s.

Because the truth is, the video gaming culture in the 80’s and early 90’s pitted two franchises as main rivals as far as RPGs were concerned: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. For many Japanese friends I’ve met, they say that it was Dragon Quest that was far more popular than Final Fantasy, and it wasn’t until the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo Entertainment System for those in the West) that the Final Fantasy series really started to take off. Likewise, it isn’t that common to find hardcore Dragon Quest fans in the west given how well-exposed Final Fantasy is.

But putting that into perspective, that explains why a large chunk of the parodies in Magical Circle Guru Guru focuses on Dragon Quest, in general. Of course, I’m not claiming to have noticed all of the references in this pilot episode alone, so if you’ve noticed anything, do feel free to share it in the comments below! So sit back as we run down some interesting tidbits from episode 1 of Magical Circle Guru Guru! Continue reading

Summer 2017 – First Impressions

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I know this is nearly a month late, and I wasn’t really expecting to have to do one of these, but man was I impressed with what shows I grabbed this Summer 2017. Granted I cherry-picked these titles from a list of suggested titles from another writer whose taste I pretty much trust, for the first time in a long time I’m actually really, really happy with the titles as early as the 1st episode.

That said, I only added five shows to my list of three on-going titles, and after including Owarimonogatari (ge) later in August, will make nine shows this Summer 2017. I can actually work with something like that; anything more than 10 titles is pretty ridiculous at this point. So yeah, hopefully if you’re still interested, join me as I do a quick run down of impressions on the shows I’ll be watching this happy, happy summer season. Continue reading

Spring 2017 – Season End Ranking

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Whew, that took a little longer than expected. And it didn’t help much, either, that Splatoon 2 came out last Friday, so I spent most of the weekend getting my ass served to me. I never played the first Splatoon, but damn is this game stubbornly addicting.

But yeah, I’ve had to “battle” my way through the remnants of Spring 2017, and finally I’ve been able to make it through in once piece. I’m not sure if it’s because of the gap in viewing that my take on these shows has been tamed, somewhat, but my overall impression of Spring 2017 is just not very good. I mean, sure I enjoyed most of them, but in the greater scheme of things, I think many of these titles are titles I’m gonna forget. And another reason for this is because I’ve actually been rewatching several of my favorite shows with my room mates during my hiatus (yes, I cheated), which I’m planning on sharing in a separate editorial post.

So if you’re not already head-deep in Summer 2017, come join me as we run down just what kind of beast Spring 2017 was in this late end season run down. LET’S DO THIS!! Continue reading

[update] I’m baaaaack!!

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Title of this post pretty much says it all. Give or take a few other things I have to sort out for my dissertation, at least the bulk of the writing is over and done with, and I’ve already submitted whatever is worth 10,000 words of a grade over to the university.

It’s like someone pulled out a huuuuuge thorn out of my side.

That said, what’s left in the wake is a slew of unfinished anime that’s 5-6 episodes deep per show. What that means is that I’ve had to put my foot down and slash out shows I couldn’t really half-ass myself to trudge through for the sake of finishing, the result being four-or-so shows hitting the bucket. And for some reason, I don’t really feel like it was a waste.

Heck, I don’t even know what’s showing yet this season, so I have A LOT of catching up to do. Chances are, I’ll make a Spring 2017 end season ranking list for the sake of completion, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make any previews for summer (not as if they mean anything at this point anymore), and I might not even do any weekly reviews for the time being. Instead, I’ll focus on some select articles on topics I’ve shelved since who knows when. Plus, if anything, I plan on focusing on doing re-watch reviews on the Monogatari Series to compliment the currently airing continuation to Owarimonogatari (okay, so I DID have an idea of what shows are showing this season). Plus, I watched a couple anime movies during my hiatus (hey, can you blame me?) because, hey I can.

So yeah, I’m kinda excited to get back to writing. LET’S DO THIS!!!

[Update] Not so dead (yet)

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Ack, God… This was a really tiring two weeks for me.

So I was evicted from my flat (not my doing, honest), and I only just moved in to my new flat (much, much nicer), so I’ve pretty much spent the past two weeks moving back and forth between residences getting all my stuff in order. This was on top of the fact that I was appointed to be Senior House Resident for the current flat, and the residents I will be looking over are pre-sessional Chinese students who are here for the summer to learn English.

In a nutshell, I’ve been spending much of my time running around like a headless chicken whilst getting random phone calls from Chinese people who, for reasons beyond even their control, sound like they’re just begging to start a fight with me. That said, I haven’t watched ANY animu for the past two weeks, nor have I had time to focus on writing my dissertation, which is due in less than a month.

I am so f**ked.

That and the fact that my experiments aren’t really turning out the way they should, meaning I’m gonna have to throw in a bunch of negative data in my thesis and just use a load of BS to justify everything I did over the term. Dear God, here’s hoping I can fake it till I make it.

So yeah, I guess I’m going to come out and say that I won’t be doing any weekly reviews until the season is up, or at least until I’ve written what I have to write for my dissertation. But that, of course, won’t stop me from writing some editorials every now and then — when that does happen, it means my brain is dying and I’m looking for an outlet to maintain my sanity.

Anyway, pray for me guys. I want to keep writing, but just… damn. I wish August would come soon with everything neatly sorted. But till then, I guess I have to trudge through this shitfest for now. Wish me luck.

Bakugo VS. Uraraka: The Heroic Attitude and Anime

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It was probably only a matter of time until I’d find myself writing this article. Since its premiere back in the spring of 2016, My Hero Academia has always proven itself as a different breed of superhero shônen battler, particularly for combining its strong core thematic on the heroic attitude with its strong ensemble of character archetypes that drive this idea forward. And given its context in the academic setting, it sets itself up for a useful comparison between heroism and the intellectual model of the mind. In other words, the world of My Hero Academia is one where heroism is quantifiable in terms of both academic and social merit. This is the reason why Deku’s character resonates with us not simply due to his underdog nature, but also because of his heroic attitude that exemplifies the true qualities of the hero we all aspire to become. And by extension, we realize that regardless of our situation, we all can become heroes in our own way.

And this is the reason why Uraraka is so enamored by Deku — his tenacity to pursue a goal as lofty as becoming the no. 1 hero in spite of his own insecurities is nothing short of amazing. And though Uraraka might not be privy to the sort of circumstances that surround Deku’s own inherited quirk, she nevertheless resonates with his desire to become a hero, and so she associates herself with him if only to try and have some of that heroism rub off on her.

Which is why I believe episode 22 of My Hero Academia was the catalyst for making me put thought to screen. The heroic attitude, which I keep alluding to even in my old entries on this show, was on full display throughout the episode; it rocked my perceptions of what a shônen battler can achieve, and gave me an entirely new sense of respect for Uraraka as a whole, and the sort of message she conveys to us as viewers. Continue reading

Lost in Translation #15: Fukumenkei Noise

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Hey guys, time for another Lost in Translation! This (short) entry comes from Episode 7 of Fukumenkei Noise where we are treated to a bunch of lame word puns, complete with dead pan delivery, care of Momo. Continue reading