Revisiting Hunter x Hunter

While I’m still keeping up with this fabulous series, I’ve also started re-watching it from the beginning with Kwoo in hopes of getting him caught up on the anime. HxH has always baffled me with its persistence in staying on my radar despite being everything I thought I disliked: 100+ episode count, source material still ongoing, a shounen battle-anime–the list goes on. All these factors aside, the show excels in areas that far outweigh my misgivings. From character development, to setting, to story and pacing, HxH succeeds time and time again in not only fulfilling my expectations, but also far exceeding and even surprising them. Re-watching from the start does not change the the amount of pleasure I take from this series. On the contrary, I find myself reveling in the craft.

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Log Horizon and the Lazy, Cowardly Princess

“No proper princess would come out looking for dragons,” Woraug objected.

“Well I’m not a proper princess then!” Cimorene snapped. “I make cherries jubillee and I volunteer for dragons, and I conjugate Latin verbs– or at least I would if anyone would let me. So there!”
―Patricia C. Wrede, Dealing with Dragons

Much of what I imagine about princesses stems from Disney movies and fairy tale stories: they’re young, beautiful, magical, loved, and live happily ever after.  While there are more instances of stories featuring headstrong princesses these days–favorites including books like Dealing with Dragons, movies like Brave, and TV series like Once Upon a Time–I still don’t automatically think of the modern woman when “princess” is uttered.

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Winter 2014 Set Menu

It’s been quite a while seen I’ve been able to prune down a season like I have this Winter, which speaks of both my overall feelings about the quality about this season, as well as of the little down time I have these days. We’re already about a quarter of the way through, with most shows having released around 3-4 episodes. If you think I’m missing out on anything good, be sure to let me know!

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Happy New Year!

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America

Happy New Year, Anime B&Bers! I spent my first day of the year driving an hour out of town to visit for the first time the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, located in Granite Falls, WA. It is the North American branch of the Mie prefecture Tsubaki O Kami Yashiro Shinto shrine, and sits in a delightful wooded glade next to the river. And despite its somewhat remote location, the car line leading up to the lot was long and attendees stood by directing people to open spots. The organization was surprising and efficient at making what could have felt like a long wait not too annoying. Continue reading

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