[12 Days of Anime] Day 2: BIRDIE WING’s Bullet to the Brain

While there were a number of entertaining series starting off the year in the winter, very few at the time jumped off the screen in a manner unique from the other. When you considered sports-focused shows specifically, the field narrowed even further–Tribe Nine certainly proved itself creative with its handling of futuristic baseball. However, it wasn’t until the spring with the unveiling of anime-original BIRDIE WING -Golf Girls’ Story- that I felt something truly special. Where else could I imagine something as ridiculous as a shot through a moving train and off a rake to the green, or an underground, transformable, full-size golf course?

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[12 Days of Anime] Day 1: Live and Let Live with DIY

The 14th of December marks the beginning of the 12 Days of Anime, an event I’ve had a smattering of experience with over the years, sometimes participating, sometimes completely forgetting about it, and even more commonly losing steam part way through. Hopefully this year will be an example of the first, though I’ll likely keep the posts a bit short to accommodate my procrastinating nature.

Fall anime Do It Yourself!! leads with Day 1 and its live and let live lesson featured prominently in episode nine, “Does ‘DIY’ Mean a Shocking Surprise? How Unexpected! It’s Really Unexpected!” This is when Serufu invites the club to her home to demonstrate her improved skills by building a pig house. Her continued struggles reveal her insecurity that results in her friends banding together to remind her of her worth.

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[Mecha March] Mid-month Gundam Thoughts

We’re almost through the month of March and I’m now a little under halfway through the original Gundam series. Overall, I’ve been pretty pleased with the series and can easily see how it captured the hearts and minds of fans for years to come. There’s always this little bit of trepidation that older works will feel exactly that, old. That somehow the years will render them unpalatable visually and narrative-wise. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here so far.

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Mecha March and Mobile Suit Gundam

Amuro, Amuro

A couple nights ago, while browsing my Twitter feed, I came across #MechaMarch for the first time. I assume this writing event has been around for a while and I am just now learning about it given the responses I’ve seen thus far. I don’t consider myself knowledgeable in mecha anime by any stretch of the imagination; I came to the genre relatively late compared to my exposure to other styles, like isekai and school-set comedies.

If I had to remember one of my earlier experiences, Full Metal Panic!, Code Geass, and Neon Genesis Evangelion jump to mind. Since then, I’ve picked up some classics, dabbled in novelties, and tried enough mediocre to awful entries in the field. Current favorites include FMP Fumoffu, Macross Frontier, Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Knights of Sidonia, and Break Blade. Now with this month’s theme in mind, I’m determined to find something new and equally engaging.

It was with surprise and delight that I discovered the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam in full on Crunchyroll. My experience with the franchise is limited to a few entries, with those other than IBO getting dropped early on. From the handful of episodes seen so far of Gundam 79, I’m happy to say that the likelihood is high that I’ll keep with it and finish; I’ve already the 2019 prequel origin series to my future watchlist out of sheer curiosity about a couple of the major characters.

I’m hoping my time with the classic will encourage some writing in response, but I’m also resistant to pressure to just produce–I might just end up tweeting passing thoughts not long enough for a blog post. If any of you have any suggestions for topics or anime titles you think I should check out in line with the mecha theme of the month, let me know!

[12 Days of Anime] Day 2: The Heike Story

Let me preface these next two posts by saying that it was ridiculously difficult to order them—both The Heike Story and ODDTAXI took my breath away with their writing, visuals, and even soundtrack. I knew they were classics very early into their respective seasons, and I’ve already recommended both numerous times to friends in the hopes that more people will appreciate these works for the masterpieces they are.

In the end, I chose to place The Heike Story on the penultimate day of my 12 Days of Anime not because it’s inferior, but because of transparency. I was not surprised in the slightest before starting this series that it would succeed. Everything about it screams, “Look at me! Listen!” And I did, and will do so again, and again.

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[12 Days of Anime] Day 3: The Faraway Paladin (but just the start)

Sometimes I forget that the 12 Days of Anime can be as flexible as the writer likes; I have this habit of assuming each post should match an entire series, rather than something smaller like an arc, or a single episode, or even a popular theme of the year across multiple series.

And so after my barely-related FFXIV post, I follow now with admiration for the beginning arc of The Faraway Paladin—a fully contained story with complex characters, an intriguing setting, and just the right amount of tension.

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