Summer 2017 – Season End Ranking

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I dunno about you, but I actually, legitimately enjoyed this season. Maybe it’s because I cherry-picked my titles early on; or maybe it’s because I intentionally went for a light viewing to save myself the agony of having to trudge through so many shows once they hit the back burner. Regardless, it was fun, and most of the shows (I can say with some confidence) actually lived up to their initial hype and made me feeling a little sad to see them go. Although to a certain extent, you could say that I was hoping for something a little “deeper” from some of the titles, but these are minor quibbles to the overall satisfaction of me being able to watch these shows without a distasteful hiccup at the end.

So yeah, same jazz as always, shows are ranked from bottom to top with a final rating at the end. Do share your thoughts about any of the shows I watched in the comments below. And with that, let’s do this! Continue reading

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Summer 2017 – Mid-Season Round Up

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Okay, it’s been a while since I wrote anything, partly because I think I burned myself out trying to write some in-depth analysis articles on Owarimonogatari, but I personally think the essays, themselves, aren’t really shaping up the way I want them to. For now, I’m just gonna put that aside and clear the table for this mid-season round up and then, perhaps, go on to some other reviews and/or editorials.

That and the fact that I’ve been basically enjoying my newly-earned “freedom” by sleeping in till mid-day and playing enough Splatoon 2 to get me an A-Rank in all of the Ranked Battle modes. If any of you guys out there play Splatoon 2, feel free to add me up as a friend (my friend code is SW-0054-9953-4514). I’ve always wanted to take on the League Battles, but I have no friends who own a Switch to play it with. *sniff*

Anyway, back to the Animu. This season is surprisingly functional enough to be good — and I say that quite deliberately in that there is a particular reason as to why each show is working (in one way or the other) to actually make my collective viewing enjoyable. You could say it’s a funny little happenstance that these shows can actually complement one another to make up for whatever shortcomings one or the other might have. And so with that said, let’s run down how all the shows are doing in this mid-season review!

As usual, these are ranked top to bottom, with a tl;dr in bold for your convenience. So with that said, let’s do this! Continue reading

NisiOisiN and the deconstruction of language: a primer to discussing Owarimonogatari

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That’s an intimidating title, I know. In many ways, NisiOisiN’s approach to psychoanalyzing human behavior is no less complicated, owing to his strong grasp of the Japanese language and the ways by which he manipulates it in order to subsume the many “apparitions” that pepper his thematically chaotic stories. Be it a story about a young girl pushed to the brink of desperation due to a life of domestic violence, or the fantastical pursuit of an object of affection that transcends time and even death itself, NisiOisiN has always approached his stories through the thoughtful deconstruction of the language of his characters, introducing a thematic “object” that is subject to identification as the show unfolds. And this need to “identify” is central to the existentialist dilemma of “knowing thyself”, as is exemplified by the many arcs that focus around specific heroines and the “apparitions” of which they are tasked to come to terms with.

But this is where we run into the main issue of NisiOisiN works: its reliance on the deconstruction of language — and not just any language — but the Japanese language. Here, I discuss some of the paradigms of NisiOisiN that will allow us to gain a better understanding of the context behind his manipulation of language, which will hopefully serve as a useful primer for the upcoming episodic review articles I will be writing on Owarimonogatari. Continue reading