Image Credit: タカはん from Pixiv
As some of you might already know from my Twitter, this week already marked the start of Spring Quarter over at my college institution. I’m taking three courses this quarter: one art class, one Japanese language class, and one Japanese Animation class. I’m not a film major (though I admit that such a thing isn’t anything unbefitting for me), I’m majoring in Graphic Design (getting both the AA and the BFA degree) and minoring in World Languages and Literatures (Japanese) + transfer. My reasons for taking Japanese Animation is simple: I needed a class to fill up time and the 12-unit minimum for Financial Aid, and what better than a class that’s fun and interesting, and most importantly, relevant to your hobbies? It’s anime, yo. Though since it’s academic, we’re not watching anything mindless like, say, some moe harem.
The best part of this [once a week] class is that most of its four hours is spent watching fantastic and influential anime films and discussing the aspects of each film, such as the narrative, how it relates to the context of the historical period, and the art form on a critical and analytical level. There’s a list of films we’ll watch over the course of the quarter on the class syllabus they handed out to us, and damn is it a good list, though I’ve already watched a handful of them! The first day, we watched two segments of The Cockpit and Panda! Go, Panda! The Rainy-Day Circus.
Along with the stuff I said I was going to get around to doing in Sakura’s birthday post, I’ll most likely write about the films we watch in class at least once a week. Even though I already reviewed some of them, it’s nice to revisit stories every now and again and share updated reactions. There are also essays to be expected for this class, and I will most likely post them up on here too (with bold markings of my name and class info so I don’t get reprimanded for plagiarism even though it’s clearly my shit).
It’s a really fun and engaging class, though of course there was clearly a Kill la Kill fanboy among us in the classroom, who also annoyed me by calling a deep and realistic character “flat and boring” (but I digress). To be frank, I love all of my classes this quarter! This is what college is all about. Focusing on your major/minor and taking classes on subjects you love. Oh yeah, and debt, but that’s besides the point (and I’m still in junior college for another year or so, I haven’t run into that much yet).
Good thing about this quarter too is that it’s spring, it’s hot, and a bunch of cuties are running around right now and holy shit I think I’ll will find time for a relationship adadfak.
Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! was never an anime that I held to a very high standard. Sure, the animation is breathtaking, the characters are wacky and lovable, and I always found each episode to be an overall enjoyable experience, but I never found the capacity to take it all that seriously in a critical sense, because it’s not meant to be taken seriously. Mind you, this is a good thing. Heck, the first season became one of my favorites back in Winter 2012.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have the capacity to leave me a bit disappointed. It might be a moe-tastic show that may not amount to anything more than that in terms of appeal, but the characters did manage to grow on me during that time, and I found myself caring about their personal conflicts if such things were ever brought up.
“Dark Flame Master’s Secrets of Kissing 101″ O3O
You’d think seeing a Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! movie would be somewhat of a hyper experience. And yet there isn’t really anything much to say about this film. I mean, aside from the really amusing introduction scene with Rikka’s “dream wedding”, and of course, the last bits of the film, I found myself almost being put to sleep while watching… because it’s a recap of the first season. Like, it’s not even a retelling of the story, it’s really just Rikka recounting the events from the television series in her head. I really don’t understand how anyone could have thought a glorified recap episode would be fit to be shown on the big screen, but hey, I’m not KyoAni. They might be geniuses and I might just be a moron who has no taste in cinema.
The suffering continues…
My interest in actively discussing Puella Magi Madoka Magica died down significantly during the past couple of years. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the original anime series and enjoyed watching both of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Beginning Story and the Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Everlasting Story films, but I wasn’t a crazy enough fan for the series in the vein of, say, Neon Genesis Evangelion that I was super excited with seeing the same story played over again. Especially since (for example), unlike Rebuild of Evangelion‘s constant divergences that make it clear that it’s a new story/continuation, the first two Madoka movies were just recaps of the same 12 episodes of the anime series. There was nothing really new to talk about aside from the spin-off materials, so the wait for Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Rebellion Story was killer because I really wanted to know what was gonna happen after the TV anime’s conclusion.
That said, I was really excited to see this film. Partly because (again) “YAY, NEW MADOKA CONTENT“, and also, I had this feeling that Gen Urobutcher wasn’t exactly finished messing with the audience. I’ve described the original anime as a series with no shock absorbers, and I went in expecting this to be the same case. I thought I was prepared for the inevitable shock, whatever it was.
But I was wrong. I let my guard down. 「残念だってね。」
Image Credit: かのら from Pixiv
I know it’s April 2nd in Japan right now, but it’s still April 1st here with all the April Fools shenanigans and whatnot. Of course, I don’t give much of a damn about any of that – I’d just like to dedicate this post to the birthday of one of the best female protagonists ever to grace the very existence of anime and manga. If there’s anything Cardcaptor Sakura-related, it’s pretty damn assured that I’ll post about it!
That being said, I haven’t been posting all that much here because of classes (I’m always active on Twitter, though – so you’ll know if I’m actually dead or not). Rest assured, since it’s Spring Break, you’ll be seeing some final impressions on Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren, some after-thoughts on Kill la Kill, a full impression on the Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie trilogy, a few “nostalgia” posts here and there, and some other things I manage to finish up during my (otherwise) uneventful Spring Break in the near future.
Image Credit: Lewd artists from Ningen Modoki
Alright, a friend spoiled me that something “awesome and fantastic” would happened in this week’s episode, so I was already kind of expecting something along the lines of a kiss between Yuuta and Rikka just by taking a wild guess. Still, it was quite a pleasant surprise regardless because the large buildup and I wasn’t entirely sure that I was right.
It was nice to see that Rikka is finally opening up and breaking out of her “shy little kid in regards to love” barrier, allowing the relationship to have the first steps of healthy progression. I’ve heard people say “hurrrr Yuuta’s so beta, he hasn’t made a move on Rikka”, but really, I think the problem’s mostly all Rikka’s fault. Yuuta does want the relationship to progress, but he cared about Rikka enough to not force things on her. But now that they finally got past the hand-holding stage and into the more intimate “kiss on the cheek” stage, we may finally be able to see them be more open about being an actual couple, instead of two childish lovebirds that like to hide the fact that they’re a couple.
Round of applause for actual parenting… oh wait
Parents Television Council, a pro-censorship advocate group, who are known to hysterically bombard attacks on television shows they deem inappropriate for children, has taken the liberty of targeting their latest attacks on Cartoon Network’s adult programming block, Adult Swim (known for its comparatively more adult-orientated programming, which includes some live-action programs as well as minimally-censored anime series like Space Dandy) for moving its 9PM start time to 8 PM.
Let the cheek-pinching commence!
I gotta say, if there’s anything keeping me from going insane from my terrible, terrible Pre-Calculus class, it’s watching the continuation of our ADHD-filled adventures with the “The Summer of Far East Magic Nap Club” whenever I head home every week. Not only is it nice when you’re watching a bunch of heart-wrenching crap (doesn’t even need to be anime) and are in need of something extremely adorkable to soften the impact in-between, it’s also a good way to soften the impact of stress in real life.
I don’t know if I mentioned this during the first season’s run, but damn do the characters do a great job of carrying this anime. And this quality is something that’s played up a bit more this season, especially considering that characters other than Yuuta and Rikka aren’t getting shoved out of the spotlight, which in my opinion, was one of the biggest flaws during the first season.
Challenge: Tell me why this is not awesome.
Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda certainly has one of the most fun premieres out of the whole season – I’ve already watched two whole episodes and I’m already getting an impression that this is supposed to be a superhero parody from the tokusatsu villain’s perspective. Not to mention the dialogue is pretty damn hilarious.
Image Credit: Kayoko from Umami Map
Just thought I’d share some of my daily Wapanese exploits on my way home from De Anza College.
I usually come to this plaza to get a quick snack on my way home on the bus, usually going to Marukai Marketplace, Daiso, or Wing Stop. Depending on how much I feel like spending, I usually get either a candy bar, pre-made bento lunches (in cases where I’m going to school without lunch), ready-to-go sushi, or a full meal at Wing Stop. The lunch I bring to school sometimes isn’t enough to revitalize me for the entire day, and these snacks are better money spent than McDonalds, honestly. One dollar for a one-way bus trip to heart disease? No thanks.
Yeah, that’s right
I’m planning on killing my VN backlog within the next few months, with the first target being Rewrite, school be damned. My previously-planned “Let’s Read” posts about it kind of fell by the wayside since school (ugh). I’ll probably just do a full review of it later this month, but maybe I’ll give an entire walkthrough’s worth a shot, it all depends on how much free time I have. Rewrite just gets more and more engrossing the further you get into it, and I’d really like to finish it up by the end of the month. As a person with an ear for Japanese, I must say I enjoy Amaterasu‘s translation work of it as much as the VN itself. The English dialogue is pretty good and reflects much of the same “feel” of the Japanese dialogue, most notably the funny scenes. It’s hard to explain, but well, Amaterasu’s awesome.
I’m very saddened that one of my most anticipated anime horror series turned out to be a big disappointment. The premise of the source material sounded interesting and creepy enough, and it’s a horror story that definitely has promise. But the adaptation turned out to be way too short. Four minutes per episode? Please. It felt like so much of the plot was missing because of the short length – and I was right, I checked out the first chapter of the manga and there’s so much more exposition and substance to the plot compared to this four-minute first episode. Honestly, the way the sequences of events played in the anime, it honestly gives the viewer a “what the fuck just happened?” reaction instead of being legitimately and psychologically horrified. It’s such a damn shame.
Not only that, but they could have made up for it with at least the shock value… but much of the shock value was lost because it’s censored for TV. Why couldn’t they have made this an OVA, or an online stream, instead? This was a real kick in the ass after the October 2013 delay (I really wanted a scary anime for Halloween, dammit!).
I’m honestly just going to read the manga from here on out (I was hoping for an anime that was on-par with the source material so I could watch the horror in motion). Unlike particular anime fans, when the source material is available to me, I will check it out if there’s a chance that it’s reasonably different – it’s the true essence of the story, after all. It’s not fair to an artist if they get criticized for someone else chopping up their paintings, for instance. I will continue to watch the anime, but I probably won’t be blogging much about it (instead, I’ll probably do more of the manga). It’s such a shame – the music and animation are really atmospheric, but the length just ruins it. Why, Studio DEEN? There’s nothing wrong with anime shorts, but the premise of Pupa was *not* made to be a short.
Jao Shingan awakens once again!
Like its first season, I’m treating Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren as a nice break from the more serious stuff I’ll be watching/reading this season. That isn’t to say I wasn’t emotionally invested in the first season, but at its heart I think Chuu2 is generally supposed to be a fun little story full of diabetes-inducing goodness here and there, and obviously doesn’t aim to be an emotional roller coaster in the vein of AnoHana or something of that nature. Really, the only conflict I can see happening in Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren relates to this character, but even then I don’t expect it to be too bad for Rikka (because Yuuta loves Rikka to
The point of it is to make people feel happy. Think of it as a palette cleanser for every other show that opts to abuse its characters from start-to-finish. The first season was great at being what it was trying to be, and I have no doubt that the second season will do just as great, if not better, a job of doing the same. That is: being Hitting Your Waifu – The Anime.
Here’s a Puella Magi Madoka Magica parody of GARO‘s episode previews to celebrate
I’m like, two months late on this, but I just heard that the live-action GARO franchise was getting its own anime that will air some time this year. I’m a pretty big fan of the series, and I always thought that the style of the series and the universe itself was very fit for an anime series, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll enjoy it as a fan. I hear it’s not going to be an adaptation of the first GARO though (which, honestly, was something I was always hoping for), and instead it’s going to be a completely original story taking place in the same canon. I’m not all too worried though – since the director for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Shingeki no Kyoujin is apparently on-board with the project, so I’m actually pretty confident that it will (at least) be above average even if it doesn’t turn out to be really great. But we’ll see. I wonder what animation studio will be in charge of it? Well, whatever the studio is, they better get JAM Project to do the theme songs again, as well as the original composers for the OST.
Very recently and by coincidence, I mentioned GARO in my Final Impressions post of Kyoukai no Kanata. Perhaps this is the anime that will fill in for my missed expectations of that series? Probably not, but regardless, I do enjoy grittier demon-hunting stories in the vein of GARO and Ga-Rei Zero, so this might be up my alley either way. I’ve also did a generic post about GARO‘s first episode back in eighth grade or something, but you probably shouldn’t read that since I was even worse back then than I am now.
Off-Topic: I just finished the first episode of Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren today, and will be posting about it later today.
Yeeeeeeeeah, the European Collector’s Edition of Bravely Default: Flying Fairy totally isn’t worth being jealous over. What was Square Enix thinking when they decided to bundle this monstrosity among the other goodies? Couldn’t they have gotten Figma? Or maybe even Alter? Square Enix, here’s some advice: what looks to be equivalent to a Chinese knock-off isn’t worth the extra expense. Poor European fans.
So yeah, in other news, I’m pretty hyped for Bravely Default: Flying Fairy coming out in America next month. I may or may not get it at launch depending on my finances. I still haven’t bought The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds yet, after all…
Winter Break is over, my next college quarter has started, and of course I’ve also finished watching Kyoukai no Kanata prior to that.
I must say that the conclusion of Kyoukai no Kanata pretty much sealed my opinion of the series – that is to say, it hasn’t changed quite much. This post isn’t going to be as long as my other Final Impressions posts because, honestly, there isn’t quite much to say about the series.
Hope you guys are having a Happy New Years. Lack of time has kept me from posting a “12 Days of Anime” countdown like I did last year, but I’m still up to share some of my anime-related highlights of 2013 all in one post.
I hope all of you guys out there are having a wonderful holiday! I just finished watching the final episode of Kyoukai no Kanata a few days ago, so I’ll be writing my full thoughts on that series later this week. Even though I’m not exactly taking part in what is traditionally considered “12 Days of Anime” this year, I’ll also post some end-of-the-year rambles as a treat to the readers that put up with my nonsense.
As usual, my Christmas wasn’t anything particularly special – I hung out with family and friends (like every year, just on Skype), but I got into the holiday spirit by giving away free starter Pokemon on Pocket Monsters XY that weren’t available to non-Asian countries until
the 27th-28th an unknown date on Pokemon Bank (I got them via connections and some randomly on Miracle Trade). I was basically mass-breeding them and sending them to whoever asked for them and to random passerbys on the PSS, in exchange for any Pokemon (I accepted throwaways). I also dumped more than a dozen of each onto Miracle Trade. I know that it made a lot of people happy to see their favorite starters on Amie/Parler (I know I’m enjoying the hell out of playing with my Chikorita and Mijumaru on Amie!), so it made me happy to give them the experience before the actual international Pokemon Bank opening.
セレナ the PokeSanta wishes you a fun holiday with your friends and family!
Have a wonderful holiday break everyone, and stay safe.
Image Credit: p-suke from Pixiv
…and why I don’t use them.
Now, if you’ve managed to follow my blog since its conception (congratulations for putting up with my nonsense), you’ll notice that whenever I do overviews of an entire anime series (like Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Mirai Nikki, the latter of which I’m ashamed for even enjoying), you’ll notice that unlike review sites like THEM Anime Reviews, Anime-Planet, the anime portion of IGN, etc., I don’t end off my reviews by giving these series some form of a review score, be it stars or numbers.
Why is this? Well, to be frank, it’s because I believe the concept of giving out review scores is the most idiotic and counterproductive thing in the realm of proper critique. Review scores are something reviewers in general, let alone anime bloggers, shouldn’t use. At all.
Image Credit: angelo (gomahangetsu) from Pixiv
Now that it’s Winter Break and I’ve escaped the hectic college life for the time being, I can devote more time into the blog. Let’s give a round-of-applause to free time
not being eaten up by the PS3 and Pocket Monsters X! That being said, here’s my updated thoughts on the leftovers from the Autumn Anime season. I’ve put Kyousogiga on-hold for the time being, so I can marathon it all at once the moment it’s finished, in order write about this fantastic series in a separate well-deserved post.
Kill la Kill‘s pretty much near its halfway point, whilst Kyoukai no Kanata has one episode left to go. Let’s get this quick run-down started!