What Would Mogami Asahi Do?

From season to season we’re showered with idol shows: students in idol clubs, aspiring idols, idols who do sports, and idols trying to balance work and school. This time around in Phantom of the Idol, it’s an idol who doesn’t want to be an idol and is haunted by another idol. It sounds kind of silly, I know, but it somehow works well in this case in large part because of the contrasting personalities involved. Niyodo Yuuya is the perfect representation of the reluctant participant with his tired approach to life, while his co-idol Kazuki Yoshino is the picture of positive, if a bit oblivious, energy. The ghost who enters into Yuuya’s life is Mogami Asahi, a beloved singer who passed away at the height of her fame. Together, they navigate ZINGS’ rise in popularity and their own questions about what it means to be an idol while staying true to themselves.

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Boruto: Episodes 70-92, Ohnoki Arc Retrospective

I’ve been catching up on Boruto: Naruto Next Generations lately, most recently with the Ohnoki arc from 2018. Sounds like forever ago, doesn’t it? I’m pretty shocked myself to have fallen so far behind a show that is already well within range of 300 episodes, particularly during such a fantastic part of the anime from all that I’ve seen so far. This particular section resonates even more so because of my recent reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s short novel, Klara and the Sun. Both feature artificial life modeled after the human species, and in both they question the definition of a human soul in manners that would argue for them already possessing souls of their own. Mitsuki, along with members of Hidden Stone Village, stands at the center of this arc’s storyline. His quest to find himself is also our quest to discover our very own heart stone.

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Parallel World Pharmacy and Conscious Beauty

“…going forward, I want to make medicine available to those who need it.”

Falma de Médicis. “Master and Apprentice.” Parallel World Pharmacy.

With the past couple years of COVID lockdown, makeup has been one of the furthest things from my mind. When all you do is stay at home or go in public wearing a mask, what then is the point of putting on a pretty face? Some might do it for self-satisfaction or work-from-home video conferences, but I personally only bother these days out of a sense of obligation towards a presentable front…and Insta pics, of course. Now that many of us are venturing back out into public spaces, I realize that much of my makeup has expired and will need replacing.

Seeing the most recent episode of isekai series Parallel World Pharmacy reminded me that my priorities have changed since pre-pandemic–I no longer care as much about long-lasting, photo-ready finishes, but more about sun protection, moisture, and evenness of tone. Protagonist Falma de Médicis’ wariness of popular makeup, most especially whitening foundations, isn’t particularly new to anime–take for instance another recent show, 2021’s The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World, where they highlight a related issue. However, Falma’s profession as a pharmacologist rather than an undercover assassin allows for a more expansive view on the world of cosmetics and how it relates to one’s health.

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Summer 2022 Bite-Size Menu

Sitting inside in the protection of the AC in avoidance of a record heatwave, it feels like summer is definitely here attempting to cook me alive. There are far too many new series this season to try, as well as a handful of sequels both expected and unexpected. I’ll be outlining in full my thoughts on all the shows in our upcoming preview podcast; what’s included here in this particular blog post are the newly debuting shows that excite me this summer.

Sequels: Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun; SHADOWS HOUSE 2nd Season; The Devil is a Part-Timer! Season 2.

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[Review] Love After World Domination

I’ve gotta give credit where it’s due–I would have missed Love After World Domination if not for a friend’s recommendation. The super sentai setup and bright colors gave me expectations of unfunny gag humor and cheesy references. Both gags and references are assuredly present, but the cheese is delightfully delicious and the humor usually spot on.

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[Review] BIRDIE WING -Golf Girls’ Story-

If you had asked me last year what I’d think about watching a golf anime, I probably would have laughed before launching into a whole list of reasons why I probably wouldn’t watch it, starting with pure boredom for the sport to outright dislike for its large use of land. Now we’re hitting summer and BIRDIE WING is probably one of my more anticipated sequels for the coming year. There are few other new shows this past season to get me this excited for a continuation.

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[Review] SPY x FAMILY

I’m writing this at a bit of an appropriate time–right at the tail end of a family visit that has taken over our lives for the past week. I had all these plans to finish the spring shows on a timely schedule and write all my reviews before the summer shows hit, but here we are now with several new episodes already out and I’m still stuck finishing up steps 1 & 2. Thanks, Mom! I’ve found some down time in between the sightseeing and eating, so what better place to start than with another family, SPY x FAMILY.

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[Review] I’m Quitting Heroing

I’m going to keep this review on the shorter side since I already spoke recently about my appreciation for this show amidst a slew of recent similar series; however, I did want to give an update with my final thoughts. While my positive reactions from before still stand true, the overall impression is forgettable. I’m Quitting Heroing did well enough to entertain me this past spring, but I don’t see myself remembering details into future seasons largely due to its unremarkable graphics and flat characterizations.

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[Review] Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness

Leaving your hometown and exploring a new world, be that in the city or country, a neighboring state or a whole different nation with its own language, can be life changing. Beliefs are challenged and even changed for something wholly different, and we can end up feeling like completely different people. I strongly relate with this given my flight from home almost a decade ago, and encourage others to do the same whether or not they feel they need it because of the personal confrontation that ensues from such a drastic shift in perspective.

What does that have to do with Deaimon? Admittedly not much for the vast majority of the setting, since we spend most of our time in the same Kyoto hometown; however, the implications are there with our main character and those who surround him. As much as this anime fits into the healing nook of series, it also questions the necessity of independence and the possible consequences that follow.

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