Spring 2014 Set Menu

Spring is in full swing, the sakura have long since bloomed, and I’ve got a bustle of new shows to fill my spare time. Happy Spring, everyone! New shows include:

  • Baby Steps
  • Black Bullet
  • Blade & Soul
  • Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
  • Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
  • Haikyuu!!
  • Hitsugi no Chaika
  • Kamigami no Asobi
  • Kiniro no Corda: Blue Sky
  • Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season
  • Mushishi Zoku Shou
  • Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
  • Selector Infected WIXOSS
  • Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
  • Soul Eater NOT!

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Sakura-Con 2014

My first year to be an official registrant at the Seattle Sakura-Con, this is also the first convention I have attended with someone else by my side–while I do make a point to meet up with various blogger and Twitter friends at each convention, I have never traveled to and spent the majority of my time with one particular person. Thanks to KWoo for being my convention buddy!

As usual, I will be compiling all my thoughts and experiences into one massive blog post. Panel summaries will be arranged in order of attendance, with both questions and answers being paraphrased for conciseness. If you were present at any one of these panels and understood the questions or answers differently, please let me know. I’ve also placed the panels at the bottom due to their lengthiness.

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Winter 2014 Season Wrap

It’s becoming a mantra of mine to complain about how little time I have these days and how far behind I’ve fallen with each season’s anime, but it’s true! And the going got even tougher when there were so many shows from the winter that I couldn’t help but follow–and plenty more that ended up on my backlog. Now that the cold days are mostly behind us, time will likely get even tighter with the warmth outside beckoning. Thankfully, the winter anime did a glorious job of keeping the heart warm despite the chilly weather.

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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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