I made it to the end of a season! Wohoo!
We made it to the end of a year! Wohoo!
Yeah, 2016 was a pretty bad hand, but instead of brooding over what was, I think it’s also just as important for us to appreciate what we have. And true enough, 2016 was quite an adventure for me. I’ve been to three different continents, seven different countries, and fourteen different cities; I’ve met random people on the street and have met new friends and faces in all of my travels. And I’m not here to show how blessed I am; rather, I’m here to tell you that it’s important to count your blessings as well.
It’s one of the reasons why I rushed in a review for Flying Witch, to remind everyone to look for the magic in a dismal world. Because it’s only in realizing what’s important to us — the things we value — that we actually strive to see to it that these things are upheld. It’s what ignites passion and fuels change. Never lose sight of the things that have made your life worth living, no matter how shitty 2016 was.
Because the truth is, there’s no telling how shitty 2017 will be. Or the year after that. But if you know what it is you live for, then that’s an entirely different story.
But what does that have to do with anime? Well, nothing really. But I’ve been trying to link the anime I watch with life in general, and to a certain extent I think I’ve achieved that. What I write basically tries to prove to people that you can learn quite a lot about life through moving images on a television screen, and that every story has a hidden message just waiting to be told. We can bitch and rant about the things we hate about 2016 — just as much as we can bitch and rant about the things that sucked about anime. But I’m here to talk about what makes us enjoy the things we enjoy; what makes us hate the things we hate; what makes us keep coming back for more and more anime despite all of that.
In short — anime is love; anime is life.
And before I go on aimlessly with this lengthy entry, let’s move on to the season end ranking, yeah! (man, what a messy segue) Continue reading
Warning: this is gonna be a rant.
I haven’t really done rants on this blog yet, but suffice it to know that I actually do it quite often. Every season, there’s always a show or two that just doesn’t meet up to your standards, but every now and then there’s that one show that is just so amazingly bad that it manages to even be offensive. The last show I remember that reached that magnitude of awfulness was Kuma Miko back in Spring 2016… The culprit this season is none other than Occultic;nine.
And there are many reasons to hate this show — from its highly convoluted premise, to its heavy reliance on conspiracy theories turned chuunibyou-technobabble nonsense — but if there’s one thing to absolutely despise in this show, it’s the god awful cinematography and composition.
And I think I have enough experience in Photography (having grown up under the tutelage of a serious hardcore film camera-weilding father) to say that none of the compositional sense in this show makes… er, sense. Although the sensibilities in still photography and cinematography may differ, they share the same principles in basic framing and composition. Heck, just look at the mess of shots there are in this show! Continue reading
Wow, we’re in the double-digits now. Week 10, and then it’s just a little bit more till 2017 — and that means obligatory year-end rankings and what not. But as much as I’m excited for the new year, I was quite similarly excited for what happened this week. If I were to describe this season, I’d probably call it out as some kind of misfit. There were those shows that were obviously good from the start… and then there were those that were just so bad… and then there were those that yo-yo-ed up and down as if trading seats during a game of trip to Jerusalem.
It’s a strange dynamic that is quintessentially Fall 2016. Sure, I feel like it’s screwed me pretty hard, but I feel like it’s been a fun ride nevertheless. So let’s run down just what happened this week: Continue reading
Yup, that’s what I look like at the moment.
This entry comes in a bit late because I couldn’t procrastinate any further with my 4,500-word dissertation proposal. That and the fact that I’m heading up to Glasgow next week, so I needed to cram in everything I could before the week was up. As a result, the weekly review had to take a step back — but that didn’t mean I didn’t sneak in a show or two to tide me through the droll task of putting thought to… er, screen.
And fortunately (or unfortunately) there was one show that was cancelled this week due to changes in the holiday broadcasting schedule, namely March comes in like a Lion. Although it sucked not having my dramatic character-driven fix for the week, it sucked even more in that some of the shows kinda just blew up on themselves. This was, honestly, a really tiring week in both RL and animeland, so let’s rundown what the heck happened– Continue reading
This week was a pretty unproductive week for me. I promised myself to complete a 4,500-word report as part of the initial submission for my dissertation, and so far I’ve only written about 300 words worth. And here I am right now, writing down my regular 2000-word weekly column — all for the sake of animu.
But there were other reasons for the setback in writing. For one, I’m having a hard time putting down into words what it is I need to say. That and the fact that I watched Fantastic Beasts and where to find them on Monday, and I just came from the premiere of Your Name. a few hours before writing this. Yeah, both so much and so little has happened this week that it’s making me feel a little dizzy.
But wait, what about the anime? Well, at eight weeks in, much of what I’m saying right now is just filler material. That’s right — I’m just saying a couple random things to get the ball rolling, but suffice it to know that the anime has been pretty much steady this week, give or take a few that gave me some mixed feelings. So enough of that and let’s get things started! Continue reading
I have to say, this has been a very satisfying season so far. I’m honestly surprised at how well the shows are doing to the point that it seems like there’s a visible line between what is palatable and what is pretty much inedible. That said, it’s been a bit of a chore figuring out how to rank these shows as the weeks go by, because all of them do what they do very well!
If you read my mid-season round up, you may have noticed that there’s quite a spread in terms of genre. That alone makes it difficult to say one show does better than the other — but that’s the format we bloggers have to follow, and believe me if we could just blurt out everything at the top of our heads, life would be so much easier. But we rank shows to give us an idea of how strongly we resonate with the themes that are presented — it’s not to say that any one show is better than the other.
So just what happened this week in animeland? Sit back and let’s RUN ‘EM DOWN! Continue reading
Weee! I’m finally writing my first mid-season round up post since I started this friggin’ blog. Two seasons have already passed since then, so I guess third time’s the charm?
But what’s all this for, anyway? I mean, I’m already doing weekly round ups, so why one come mid-season? Well, there are just so many shows, and a number of my RL friends often come to me sometime around mid-season just to ask if there’s anything worth picking up. In some ways, you could say they’re more than happy to make me suffer on their behalf, what having to plough through all these shows expecting for the worst… But at the same time it’s always a good feeling when I can recommend a good title or two. Because let’s face it, some shows grow at their own pace, but knowing a show will be worth the effort is always something helpful to keep in mind.
So this will just be a quick rundown of the current standing of all shows this season based on my current census of titles. As with the season preview list and weekly round ups, these shows are ordered in descending rank. Only the season end ranking places the shows in order of ascending rank (they say it’s more dramatic that way). Also, if you’re lazy and just want a TL;DR, look for the words in bold in the last paragraph of each show description.
On a personal note, I’d highly recommend #’s 1-6. The rest might require a bit of… well, patience. Anyway, enough talk, let’s do this!
Okay, this week sucked. And it wasn’t because of the anime. In fact, the anime did just fine — the rest of the world just basically went batshit crazy.
Of course I’m talking about the US Elections. Heck, I didn’t vote last time because it’s a chore to register as an expatriate; but The Avengers were calling out to me, so I decided to get my butt into gear and register to vote. Never would I have imagined that my first time would turn out a shit hand like this. It just sucks. I wake up feeling like it’s all a dream; I spent most of that day walking around in a daze, only to have to go to a unit comprehensive examination in the evening. It was a shitty day for someone who practically considers himself apolitical. I downed a half a bottle of wine and bought a new headphone amplifier on impulse. I cooked two homemade dishes good for at least eight people and served it to my flatmates for no particular reason.
Sure, you can say I’m overreacting, and yes I agree with you completely. But yeah, boohoo — that’s over and done with. Thank goodness anime was kind enough to console my weary heart this week with some of the most captivating episodes the season has to offer. While Californians are screaming out #Calexit, here I am enjoying my sweet little escapist pleasures. That may sound like me being indifferent — I know what’s going on with feminist rights violations and xenophobic acts of hate on the rise — but at the same time, I’m not sure if I have any energy left in me to be angry. I hate what’s going on, sure, but I don’t want to hate on any other Americans in the same way that Trump supporters have hated on everyone else. It’s a complicated feeling I’m feeling right now, and I’m sorta rambling at the moment — so yeah, let’s talk about anime. Let’s forget about the issues for a second and enjoy our colorfully animated worlds for now. Because it’s time we set down our political differences and enjoy the things that actually bring us together for a change. Continue reading
This was a pretty weird week in animeland. Apart from the fact that many of the shows were basically settling in to their established “groove”, a good number of them managed to be overtly offensive. And if that wasn’t the case, it was the animation that took a turn for the worse. So five weeks in and the shows begin to bare their ugly side.
But that’s not to say that the shows started getting ugly per se. Think of it as how you discover that your significant other likes pressing the toothpaste tube in the middle, or how they bite into a TimTam only to leave it half-eaten in the refrigerator. You don’t necessarily hate them for it, but God is it frustrating. But then again, that’s the point we’re at in this season — just a little ways from hitting the midpoint.
So strap yourselves in for the ride and let’s plunge through what just happened this week! Continue reading
Wow, we’re already one month into the season? That just means two weeks until I have to do a mid-season recap — something I’ve always promised myself to do but never got about to doing. Oh well, perhaps this time around I won’t burn myself out given I’m still around after a month of continuous reviews. That’s gotta mean something, right?
So yeah, the last month was actually quite nice. And I say that with all modesty because I’d hate to jinx the situation. It’s been a long time coming since I’ve actually enjoyed a Fall season (Fall always tends to be the best season for some reason), so jumping in to it with low expectations actually gave me the benefit of being surprised when there were, in fact, quite a number of great shows. Sound! Euphonium is the obvious gem of the season, but there are a couple others that simply can’t be ignored.
For this week, a couple other shows have finally come out of their own, in particular Occultic;Nine, which was actually engaging! So just what exactly happened this week? Let’s run’em down! Continue reading