Yowamushi Pedal and Heading up the Incline

Bicycling is one of those acts that are a tradition to childhood; some older figure, like a father or a big sister, stands behind the bike of little, scared you while you desperately try to keep balance and hope against all fears that he or she will not let go of the bike. Plenty of kids graduate from tricycle to bicycle at a young age. It wasn’t strange to see my classmates zooming around with confidence by the time we hit 1st grade. I didn’t find balance until well into my 4th grade year on a dirt road at the jeering of my well practiced friends. Since then, cycling has always been a chore. While I remember roaming the neighborhood with my posse like every other suburban kid, I never chose biking as my first course of fun. And when college came around with its steep hills and freezing winters, the bicycle turned from a tool of convenience to one of torture. So here I am, living in Seattle where cyclists abound and where even my boyfriend is a bike nut who owns two and just this past summer rode a 130-mile path with his cycling group. My office is frequented by bike messengers, who always smell of sweat and have some of the largest calves that I’ve ever seen. Cycling has never been more strange and attractive.

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How to be a Conscious Consumer, Silver Spoon Style

As the food lover I am, I try to keep my mind open about trying anything and everything.  This of course includes all parts of the food chain, especially meat! Unfortunately, making sure that the foods you obtain and consume are safe and cruelty-free can be difficult, and sometimes even impossible.  Silver Spoon gives us a setting where produce and livestock are very much close to the plate.  You might handle a piglet one day, only to fry it up into bacon four months later. It’s smart to keep your emotions at bay when raising these beasts if the dinner plate is indeed their final destination, but at what point do you draw the line between treating them like pets and bordering on animal cruelty?

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Gravedigging and Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

“The truth is shrouded in darkness…no, it’s buried in a grave.” -Humpnie Humbert

With Kami no Inai Nichiyoubi past its introductory arc and fake-out ending, very little has been actually revealed about the strange world in which Ai wanders, and even more mysterious is her role as a gravekeeper.  We have already seen a few gravekeepers in action first hand, but how they are designated and where they come from are still unexplained.  If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that Ai is just as uninformed as the viewer.  All that she and we seem to know is that the type of burial shown here is a more natural burial, lacking embalmment and the concrete base of which modern burials consist.  Graves are dug by hand and shovel, and bodies placed in lined, wooden coffins with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

(Spoiler in red font)

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Summer 2013 Set Menu

*GASP!* Choices, choices!

Is it just me, or are there a crap-ton of interesting shows this summer? I don’t think my menu has had this many entries in a single season for, well, ever. I thought I was doing pretty good clearing out my watching list with the close of the spring, but then I started trying out summer shows and found myself loathe to drop any of them. Most of them were an immediate “Yes” after just one episode, but we’ll see how many are still around midway through the season.

Menu overview:

  • Free!
  • Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
  • Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyo
  • Tamayura: More Aggressive
  • Love Lab
  • Servant x Service
  • Silver Spoon
  • Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu
  • Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!
  • Fantasista Doll
  • Kiniro Mosaic
  • Uchouten Kazoku
  • Monogatari Series: Second Season
  • Genshiken Nidaime
  • Dog & Scissors
  • The World God Only Knows – Goddesses Arc
  • Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi
  • Brothers Conflict

Also included are some brief thoughts on backlogged shows and ongoing anime.
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Spring 2013 Wrap

This spring was a crazy one for me, having just moved from another state and landed a big girl job.  Juggling a full-time position with a personal life is no joke, then I just had to insert a full season of anime along with gameplay for the still new Guild Wars 2.  I also have an hour of commute each way to and from work, which I now fill with reading up on other blogs and commenting.  Now that I’ve finally settled into a semblance of a routine, I hope to be a bit more consistent on blogging.  Despite all the chaos, I was still able to finish up my shows in a reasonable time frame, and landed favorites with RDG and Chihayafuru 2.

Shows covered in this season’s wrap include:

  • RDG: Red Data Girl
  • Chihayafuru 2
  • Ore no Imouto 2
  • Saki: Achiga-hen ~ Episode of Side-A
  • Suisei no Gargantia
  • Arata Kangatari
  • Otona Joshi no Anime Time
  • Sparrow’s Hotel
  • Hataraku Maou-sama
  • Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru
  • Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko
  • Kakumeiki Valvrave
  • Devil Survivor 2
  • Karneval

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Anime Expo 2013

Yes. This is indeed what you think it is.

Let me preface this by saying just how scared I was that I wouldn’t be able to make it this year.  I wasn’t frightened solely from the fact of not being able to go; I was terrified that after registering, figuring out my hotel situation, and purchasing my flight ticket, that work would not approve the time off for those couple of days around the Fourth of July.  Since I’m newly hired and the only person in my department, my leaving depended greatly on how busy we were in the few days leading up to my proposed days.  Thankfully, things worked out and I was able to follow through on my oft-repeated agreement to meet up with people. (More pictures at the very end) Continue reading

Re-visiting the Noble Savage in Suisei no Gargantia

“Behold the Edenic light of this paradise built atop the shoulders of science and the pursuit of progress. This is your homeland.”

(In reference to the utopian world of Avalon, home of the Galatic Alliance of Humankind)

We’re halfway through the spring season, and there have already been plenty of comparisons made between this anime and nomadic cultures.  The set up of the show is a classic start to any colonialist move, where one person of a “civilized” nation discovers the seemingly free and vast wild and is shocked to discover the people that already populate it are vastly different from his own.  They’re strange and barbaric with their customs, beliefs, and dress, yet somehow the adventurer forms bonds and starts to adapt as humans always do.  We’ve seen numerous renditions of this setting: Avatar, Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, The New World, The Last Samurai, Shogun, and many others.  But there inevitably comes a moment when our adventurer must war with himself over the loyalties he has to his homeland and the affections he holds for the new world and its residents, who are no longer just barbarians, but people. That moment hasn’t yet come to Gargantia, but I’m betting it’s not too far off.

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Spring 2013 Set Menu

Now that we’re five weeks into the spring season, I’ve finally settled down on which shows I’ll be sticking with, and have enclosed my thoughts on the anime of my choice to date.  Favorites so far include Shingeki no Kyojin, Hataraku Maou-sama!, and RDG. As usual, if you don’t see a show here that you think I really should be watching, let me know!

It took me longer than expected to choose since quite a few were impulse additions to what used to be a short list:

  • RDG: Red Data Girl
  • Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
  • Sparrow’s Hotel
  • Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
  • Devil Survivor 2 The Animation
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru
  • Hataraku Maou-sama!
  • Shingeki no Kyojin
  • Valvrave the Liberator
  • Arata Kangatari
  • Suisei no Gargantia
  • Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge 
  • Karneval
  • Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko.
  • Aku no Hana

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Winter 2013 Season Wrap

Yet another season ends, while another begins! Quite a few of the anime this season were late add-ins either because they were backlogged or because I overlooked them the first time around.  Many thanks to the people who convinced me to pick them up and catch up with everyone! So you see, I do take your recommendations into account any time through the year :)

While there isn’t really an order to the shows as I discuss them here, I do want to highlight Shirokuma CafeMinami-ke Tadaima, Shin Sekai Yori, and Girls and Panzer as being my personal favorites through these cold months.

Anime in the order that I discuss them:

  • Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan
  • Mondaijitachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?
  • Psycho-Pass
  • Tamako Market
  • Love Live!
  • Kotoura-san
  • Shin Sekai Yori
  • Girls und Panzer
  • Bakuman 3
  • Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
  • AMNESIA
  • Zetsuen no Tempest
  • Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
  • Magi
  • Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
  • Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
  • Minami-ke Tadaima
  • Shirokuma Cafe

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Sakura-Con 2013

So here’s the thing.  I made up my mind the week before that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the convention since family obligations cropped up for that same Easter weekend.  That and my full-time job shot down a good majority of the activities I would have wanted to do on Friday.  BUT! As miracles and awesome bloggers would have it, I popped by after 5PM Day 1 to say hello to fellow bloggers and twitter folk, including Inushinde, Avvesione, ToastCrust, and Shinmaru, and (no naming names here) was bestowed a lovely opportunity to attend the rest of the convention.  While I missed out on some of the evening activities, I still had a blast getting to meet quite a few people and attending panels in the morning and early afternoon.

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