“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.
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!
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 →
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.
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?
“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.
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.
Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen
Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyo
Tamayura: More Aggressive
Servant x Service
Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu
Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!
Monogatari Series: Second Season
Dog & Scissors
The World God Only Knows – Goddesses Arc
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi
Also included are some brief thoughts on backlogged shows and ongoing anime. Continue reading →
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
Ore no Imouto 2
Saki: Achiga-hen ~ Episode of Side-A
Suisei no Gargantia
Otona Joshi no Anime Time
Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru
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 →
“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.