[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 5

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Strange realization when I saw this scene in Demi-chan wa Kataritai — I was scheduled to donate blood last Saturday, but I forgot to show up.

Oops.

Well yeah, go figure. The blood donation center is a good 2 miles from my house, and I can’t half-ass myself to take the bus going there at a chilling 5 degrees celsius at midday. UK weather is just incredible — if it isn’t freezing, it’s friggin’ raining!

Oh well, more reason for me to shut myself indoors during the weekend and enjoy a well-deserved break from a manic week. So enough chit chat, and let’s run down how Side A is doing so far! Continue reading

[Side B] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 4

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I love reading books, but as of late, there have been many other things getting in the way of my personal reading time. For one, there’s a ton of scientific journals and textbooks that I have to read in relation to my projects. We’re talking 30+ journals a day for the sake of referencing just once sentence. And that’s probably 80% of what I have to read. The other 20% is sorta compulsory, because they’re updates for my medical practice.

The other distraction is video games. I also love playing video games — heck, I’m so psyched for the Nintendo Switch because it’s renewing my desire to play all over again. In fact, the last console I’ve ever purchased was a Sony PlayStation 2…

So yeah, I love reading books, and so I envy Lotte here, but I don’t envy her choice in reading material. But meh, to his or her their own. I can’t hate on someone just because they enjoy reading something I’m not particularly fond of. And that’s an attitude I wish other people had, as well. Rummaging through the comments of YouTube or Facebook, for example, turns up a lot of ugly responses to people who think differently. It’s a shame we can’t simply engage in sensible conversations IN SPITE of our differences.

But hey, how did we snowball into that topic? What about the animu? Yeah, I hear you. So let’s run down what happened this week in Side B — and SPOILER ALERT: all the shows actually did pretty darn well… Continue reading

[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 4

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And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the art of “clickbait”.

Well, if you’re in to that sorta thing, at least. But what does this have to do with my week so far? Actually, I’ve been pretty into following up on what’s going on with the Nintendo Switch, so much so that it’s come to the point that a big chunk of news articles online — from “reputable” sources, at that — are creating poorly-researched articles just to get in on the hype surrounding the reputed hybrid-console. Then there’s the over-hyped coverage of Trump’s recent executive order that’s got people bawling their heads out in agony. But don’t get me wrong — I’m not undermining the repercussions of these news articles in general. I’m simply trying to highlight the fact that there’s always an underlying message that is being communicated in the way all things are presented — be it politics or, you guessed it, anime.

And for the anime, at least, I think if they aren’t trying to push for a meaningful message, then they’re probably just toying around with the mainstay stropes that people have grown accustomed to. And that’s all fine, I can live with that. But that, in itself, has made me toss aside some titles in favor of things that offer more than pure self-gratification.

So what the heck happened this week to make me say all that? Well, let’s find out! Continue reading

[Side B] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 3

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Yeah, it’s been a manic week. I think I’ve been overreacting a bit too much in my lab work to the point that I forgot certain steps in a protocol because I was trying to do too many things at once. And then when that blows up in my face, I go all crazy like Gabriel here.

And the same goes for anime. I dunno what happened, but I was under the impression that Granblue Fantasy was scheduled to be a Winter 2017 release, only to realize that they just aired two episodes as a teaser run, and the real series was to start in April as a Spring 2017 title. Er… Yeah, I think I missed the memo.

Oh well, that just means one less show to worry about. I dunno if I’ll share any thoughts on those two episodes, but I guess I might as well at one point. It’s an interesting show that has a different feel compared to Tales of Zestiria the X, and the artwork is just as impressive.

But yeah, on to what happened this week. I must say, the shows are actually doing a pretty solid job at selling themselves to me. Again, Side B has a hefty bunch of titles even without shows like March comes in like a Lion or Shôwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjû in them — so enough chit chat and let’s do this! Continue reading

[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Week 3

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Be unproductive. Be lazy. Be Edna.

But seriously, I had such a lazy weekend. That and the fact that I have so many deadlines, so yeah that’s definitely not a good thing. Still, Edna is just chill as f**k.

Quite similarly, things have been pretty “chill” during the third week of Winter. It’s funny in that the shows seem to be pretty comfortable quite early on, regardless of how quirky each of them might be. And that’s probably because one of them is the venerable March comes in like a Lion, which is by far just owning the pack at this point. But even without its head start, shows like Shôwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjû and, yes, even the prodigal Tales of Zestiria the X are re-proving their worth as the weeks go by. That almost makes the newer titles in this group, Demi-chan wa Kataritai and Urara Meirochô, pale in comparison.

So what just happened? Let’s run ’em down! Continue reading

[Side B] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Weeks 1 & 2

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Ah, what I’d do for a nice cup of coffee at a roadside café together with Lotte.

Anyway, fanboy fantasies aside, it’s time for Side B of the weekly thoughts! This half has a pretty hefty list of titles, making it a little difficult for me to rank them alongside one another. I’ve come to realize that creating a Side A and Side B based on date of airing has the tendency to do that, but regardless once the two other titles come up, I’ll just add one to each of the sides to keep things balanced. And even if I drop a show or two from one or the other, I’ll keep them in their original arrangement to save me (or readers) the hassle of having to look for my thoughts on a different side throughout the season.

tl;dr – the Side A/B style has weird quirks to it, but whatever — I’ll manage it one way or another. So with that out of the way, let’s run down what happened in Side B for this week! Continue reading

[Side A] Winter 2017 – Thoughts on Weeks 1 & 2

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Gaaaah… That’s what I get for saying things and then end up jinxing the situation. As much as I wanted to get out a week in review a bit earlier this week, lab work had me fully decked and basically coming home too exhausted to write, let alone even watch anything.

But yeah, so is life. C’est la vie and all that jazz. I’m happy I can get back to writing. So like I said, I’m splitting up my weekly thoughts into two parts, which have been re-named somewhat and are labeled “Side A” and “Side B”. Not to sound patronizing, but in case some of you out there might be too young to remember this, we used to listen to music on audio cassettes that had you flip it around when it got to the end. There were also things called laser discs, which were basically the spiritual predecessor of the DVD — and yes, they had two sides, as well. Likewise, my thoughts have two sides to them. Neat, huh?

Anyway, that’s enough history for one post. So let’s get down to it then, shall we? Side A of the weekly thoughts — let’s do this! Continue reading

Fall 2016 – Week 13 in Review

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We’ve finally reached the end of a great season!

Yeah, I’m actually quite happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this season. It definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be, but in retrospect a large chunk of the shows I watched actually did a good job. That and the fact that I entered the season with relatively low expectations. But then there were amazing shows like March comes in like a lion, the venerable Sound! Euphonium, and even the wonderfully inventive Flip Flappers, which I am quite aware received mixed reviews.

So farewell 2016 — you were a shitty year, but at least your anime wasn’t shitty in the least. And also, a slight congratulations to me for finally completing an entire season worth of blog entries for the first time! I honestly wanted to post more editorials and series-specific write-ups, but I guess this continuous stint of writing articles has helped give me an idea of what sort of approach I’d like to take in writing as an anime blogger. Part of the gratitude also goes to the people who have interacted with me and share their appreciation with me.

So yeah, this is the last stint before the new year! No best anime of the year or top 10 anime of 2016 lists from me — I don’t really believe in that stuff. So here’s to more thoughts and more anime for the year to come! But before that, let’s run ’em down one last time for the year! Continue reading

Fall 2016 – Week 12 in Review

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Yeah, it’s that time of the year when you just want to cuddle up in your bed and not move an inch. I know I did this morning, because the cold was just insufferable. And then I realized I needed to go shopping, only to end up getting drenched in the rain on the way back. Thankfully, the anime was ready to greet me back at home, complete with a cup of steaming hot cocoa.

Merry Christmas everybody. 🙂

So yeah, the shows are ending. It’s a little sad, but at the same time there are still some shows that have an episode left before ending forever. And then there’s one show that’s going to go on for a second cour. So let’s recap what happened this week! Continue reading

Fall 2016 – Week 11 in Review

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This week was a little nerve-wracking for me, given I finally submitted my written dissertation proposal, followed by an oral defense that didn’t exactly go as well as I’d hoped. Regardless, I spent a lovely afternoon eating out with friends at a pretty authentic Japanese restaurant (which is hard to find in west England, mind you), after which I treated myself to a performance of the London Symphony Orchestra playing to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

But what about the anime? Well, it did reasonably good; although the funny thing is that even though the shows are obviously preparing to close shop for the year, I honestly can’t help but feel a little indifferent. It’s hard to express the feeling — I do want to see how the shows will end, but I sorta feel like I want to get on to the next season. And it’s not because the shows aren’t doing any good — in fact I feel that their approach to their closure is moving within reasonable expectations (as they should). But at the same time, I think I’m not as excited as I should be. Does any of that make sense?

Oh well, whatever. Let’s take a look back and see what happened last week! Continue reading