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
  • 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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Playing Grown Up in Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

Continuing on from the previous season, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo follows the lives of a special group of high school liberal arts students and the pursuit of their dreams.  Most aspects of what make this show memorable are ones that give a slight twist to conventional high school anime.  Instead of an average high school, Suimei is dedicated to the liberal arts.  The focused disciplines and dorm setting feel more like college than high school.   Sakurasou also regularly pits talent against hard work, though the two often overlap.  I don’t usually see this addressed in anime with younger characters, though the argument is one that crosses all ages.  An even more discussion-worthy detail is the anime’s seeming promotion of careers over personal relationships.  Again, I don’t usually see this in high school shows other than the usual dedication to studying.  Watching relationships fall apart because of a job or passion seems like an experience more likely to be portrayed in some josei drama.  Cast with high school boys and girls, set in a high school environment, and teeming with juvenile emotions, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is, for all intents and purposes, an anime by adults for adults in the adult world.

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Cockblocked Romance in Tamako Market

Some girls just want to have fun, and some girls just want to make mochi.

Tamako Market has been airing for a little over a month now and has settled into a strange pattern of mixed genres. At some times it’s a young girl s’life detailing the every day occurrences of a shopping district. There are also inklings of romance, mainly between the lead and the boy across the way, but also include the many failed attempts of Dera Mochimazui, puppy love for the little sister, the impending arrival of the bride-hunting prince, and even a possible yuri pairing. The presence of Dera also casts a fantastical flavor. Yet none of the particular categories take the lead on defining the intentions of this show. As it stands now, I view TM as a thoroughly watered down romance, chock full of cockblocks. Despite all the love floating in the air, the show is determined to prevent any sort of satisfaction from being had by anyone.

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Winter 2013 Set Menu

After at least seeing one episode each from a good majority of the winter season shows, I’ve finally narrowed down which ones I would like to follow.  Anime that I tried and did not make it include Sasami-san@Ganbarani, Cuticle Detective Inaba, Amnesia, Yama no Susume, Mangirl!, and Vividred Operation.  I’m also still waiting on the premier of Savanna Game, for which I have some hope.  There were a surprising number of dark horses this time around, so I may have a bit of trouble keeping up with them all from week to week! But because of the unexpected number of anime I’ll be watching, I’m looking forward to updating more often.  So as usual, take a look at what I’ve decided upon and let me know what you think and whether there are other shows you’d like me to consider! Bon appétit!

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Fall 2012 Season Wrap

Blame Jormungand 2 for the delay in my response to the shows I watched for the Fall 2012 season.  But don’t blame Koko, because her and her chic new haircut are just too cute.

These past few months have been a whirlwind of some really great and really bad anime moments, even more so than any other of the 2012 seasons that I can remember.  I also ended up backlogging a few intriguing shows that I simply could not fit into my schedule, including Shin Sekai YoriRobotics;Notes, and Psycho-Pass.  I have heard enough positive feedback about them from others that I’m probably going to end up marathoning them near the end of the next winter season.

You’ll also notice that I cut my former use of ratings from my season wrap.  Though I feel obligated to assign numbers to these same shows when I “complete” them on MAL, I have a more difficult time justifying my scores here.  Sometimes a show that quality-wise would probably score around a 5, I’d personally feel like giving an 8 because of the enjoyment factor.  So until I convince and artist friend or commission one to draw me some food or home-themed rating images, I’ll cut scores for now! Read on, my dear readers, and let me know what you thought of the season or even past year as a whole!

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