An Early 2018 Summer of “Anime” Announcement

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Concerning my annual Summer of Anime block that takes place between the first day of June and whenever I finish it (usually late-July, early-August), I’ve kept this in the dark for some time, but I’ve been planning for what to do this year since, well, the last one ended. You could say I’m a plan-addict. (more…)

I’ve Been Nominated for the Liebster Award

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Many thanks to Lethargic Rambles for nominating me for the Liebster Award, something I’ve seen floating around… barely out of my grasp… This is actually the third time Mr. Rambles has nominated me for an award of this kind, which I assume means I have at least one dedicated fan (or he enjoys PESTERING ME). I kid, but I appreciate the continued support, truly. (more…)

Before the 2018 March: Taking Suggestions!

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A new tradition I started last year for the blog was the March of the Movies marathon, which turned out really well! For every day in March, I would watch a random film and review it on the blog the very same day without fail. I was able to make it all the way through last year with only a few close calls + lazy cop-out posts, so I’m feeling confident in my motivation to keep the tradition going for 2018. Of course, this is a month away, so followers won’t be seeing these reviews for some time. Pondering some new ways of spicing up the tradition, however, led me to ask for something simple, but intriguing (as if my last Summer of Anime didn’t destroy my soul): viewer requests.

Share your thoughts with me!

If you have any interest in having me review a particular film, whether anime or live-action, let me know in the comments section of this post. No guarantee I take every request thrown at me (there are some films I’d really rather not watch), but I think getting some outside perspectives could prove an interesting way to try things I wouldn’t otherwise think of trying. And this isn’t to say I expect the entire month to be requested films (I’ve learned enough), but rather a more interactive way of connecting with my audience and doing what I can to appeal to you all more. So please, request some films and make this year’s March a memorable one! Until then!

I’ve Been Nominated for the Unique Blogger Award (Again)

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My thanks to Keiko for the nomination! She’s primarily an anime reviewer, dealing with the standard episodic reviews while occasionally delving into whole series. She’ll also talk at some length about music as a subject, which is an interesting differentiation from the typical aniblogger. A follower of my blog for about half a year (though I could’ve sworn she was around longer than that), I appreciate her taking the time to continue with my output.

The Rules:

1. Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.

2. Answer the questions.

3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.

4. Ask them 3 questions.

Keiko’s Questions:

If you were stuck in an anime universe, which would it be and why? 

I’ve never been good at answering this question, because a lot of variously absurd and intriguing anime universes have tremendous drawbacks. Dragon Ball Z has constant threats of alien invaders. Pokémon has terrorist groups running amok every couple of years. And with the abundance of high school anime, there’s nothing to really draw inspiration from aside from appealing characters.

If I really had to choose, based on the way I could use it to play out my own narcissistic fantasies, I’d probably go with the hot hand and say Boku no Hero Academia. The idea of collecting one’s own superpower, and having it be commonplace, is something that’s really easy to get excited about. I’ll also admit that I’ve thought at length about the kind of power I would have (think Todoroki except electricity instead of fire), and it’s really fun to be so imaginative about it. Again, constant threats of opposing villains would be a solid nuisance, but I can’t pass up superpowers being the norm and the fascination that brings.

What anime left the biggest impression on you? 

Oh, that’s easy. Toradora!. It was the anime that really got me into anime—past the stereotypical mainstream of shounen/action titles and rambunctious emotional appeals. It revealed to me what anime could be apart from what was naturally assumed of the medium, and was the “gateway drug” into the many different varying types of anime. Before Toradora!, I really did have the mindset that most anime are the absolute same. It wasn’t until I got my feet in the door that I realized its scope and overwhelming quantity.

I was also a sucker for romantic comedies back in the day (still enjoy the genre now, but not nearly as much), and having an anime actually show characters being intimate after years of having it only be implied or teased was mind-blowing. Had I watched the series now, I very likely wouldn’t have found it so amazing, but it came at the right time for me. And that’s part of the reason it’s my favorite anime.

If you were an animal, what would you be? 

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Nominations:

Anyone who has read my award posts in the past know that I don’t really care to nominate a wide variety of people (I only follow, like, ten people on this whole site). So, once again, I’ll refrain from nominating anywhere near 8-13 people, and instead will ask people to look at my recommended ani-bloggers list and discover those I feel are good for those interested in anime-esque criticism and fascination. That being said, I won’t ask any questions.

Just kidding. I will ask questions.

Questions:

“Wait, who are you askin—”

You. I’m asking you, the reader, to answer my questions. Of course, you don’t have to, but it’d be pretty rude of you to outright ignore me, right? You wouldn’t just ignore someone asking you a potentially personal question in real life, would you? No, but seriously, if people wish to discuss my questions in the comments, I’d be more than happy to take part.

  1. If you were to direct an anime film, what aspect would you most likely prioritize over others? It can be the traditional story, characters, art; but could also be as direct as character interaction, detailed animation, or a certain tone.
  2. How would you try to attract the attention of a male (or female) harem protagonist? Asking under the assumption that said protagonist actually deserves your attention. No “Nothing—harem protagonists suck” answers.
  3. What would be more intriguing as an anime adaptation: Super Mario or Legend of Zelda?

Thanks again to Keiko and for those who continue to read my blog. Until the next time!

A Casual End of Year Update

School is back in session. I’ve recently started a new job. These two things combined have taken quite a bit out of me, so my normal schedule of posting may seem a tad lax in the future, at least until I can get myself comfortable with my now semi-busy schedule.

This serves as both an update and filler, for those who care to know the circumstances behind the rapidity of my posting. And with the now slower-than-normal frequency in which I watch anime, many posts will likely concern outside topics such as video games or films, but I will try to squeeze in some weeb culture here and there, for the sake of the majority of my “audience.”

Thank you for reading and for staying with me.

What I Learned from the 2017 Summer of Anime

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Now that it’s come and gone, I find myself pondering the process, the execution, and the things I could change about this year’s Summer of Anime. What better way to collect my thoughts than to share a post to the world about my overall impressions from the torture experiences I had to face since June 1st, as well as some tidbits that could prove interesting to onlookers and newcomers alike. I could very well title this post “Thoughts on …,” but for the sake of variety, I’ll make this particular entry a little more academic.

1. YOU ALL HAVE SHIT TASTE

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Just kidding.

Still, it’s astounding to see all the average to below-average series rated for this year’s batch of anime titles. Out of thirty completed anime, only nine have a “B-” or higher in either score category. That’s not even a third of the list. Initially, I thought this was incredibly alarming… until I looked back on previous years and discovered that I haven’t fared much better picking my own titles. While this year is technically a low point for anime, my Summer of Manga back in 2015 produced the same results: only nine of thirty manga received a “B-” or higher in either score category. Really, we all have pretty shit taste, don’t we?

2. Anime over Two-Cour Are a Death Sentence

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I did not do well with big chunks.

NANA and the ‘Aria’ series. Those are the only two series recommended to me that are longer than two-cour that did not have a negative impression left by either a tough, uphill battle or time constraints. Strangely enough, they’re also two of the better series I watched this year! The rest festered within the restraints that I placed upon them (and myself), with finishes ranging between decent (Code Geass) and horrid (Fate/kaleid), if they weren’t dropped outright.

Blood+ (50 episodes), Hikaru no Go (75 episodes), and Ghost in the Shell (52 episodes) were all dropped due to time constraints. Eureka Seven (50 episodes) started out alright, but eventually feel prey to its own undoing, making the last fifteen episodes or so a complete drag; dropping it would mean having to face another longer series, so I put up with it. Code Geass (50 episodes) and Fate/kaleid (42 episodes) were both fairly early on, so the rush for time wasn’t as prevalent, though their quality didn’t make them a breeze to go through, either.

If I ever do this again, two-cour will be the limit.

3. (Most) Anime Within the Top 100 Were Enjoyable

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Out of the thirty anime recommended, six (and a not-quite seventh) anime are ranked within the top 100 on MyAnimeList. Out of those six, five got a rating of “B-” or higher in the “Personal Score” category. The lone loser? Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. Everything else is recommendable (to whatever extent).

Why is this important? For the sake of formulating theories.

Back in 2014, I intentionally ended that year’s Summer with five titles from MyAnimeList’s top 100. Sure enough, four out of five got a Personal Score of “B-” or higher, and the fifth got a “C+.” The message on display is that while a number of anime are overhyped, it’s really to what extent, as many anime I’ve seen ranked within the top 100 are, at the least, decent shows. It was no different this year, as five of the six anime qualified are anime I would recommend most from this Summer—most specifically NANASamurai Champloo, and the ‘Aria’ series.

So, when looking for a new series to watch, if you really want a bang for your buck, it’s probably better to go with a series with an overall rank of 200 than 2,000. Don’t take that to heart, though.

4. I’m Never Exceeding Twenty-Five Anime Again

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I’ll admit outright that I did not expect to receive so many recommendations for this year’s special condition (I brought this slightly on myself). Not wanting to let anyone down, I pushed the envelope further and further until everyone’s picks got equal chance to be included, to the point where I was pushing myself past my limits. At first, I was ready to take on the extra load. By Eureka Seven, I was looking quite a bit like Oreki up there.

This year was rough. By the end, I was crawling to the finish line, resorting to ashamedly sprinting through the path that took the least amount of effort (strategic drops). I certainly had enough motivation to do thirty series in the beginning, though with all garbage I had to wade through, my tolerance wore thin quickly. Of the last ten anime I watched, only two had a “B-” or higher in either score category. Six of them had a “C-” or lower.

For any future event similar to this, two things will be set in stone: only two recommendations per person and the total count is twenty-five. I’m not sure I could do this again without resorting to dirty tactics (which, admittedly, I did near the end of this year).

5. I Had Fun

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Yeah, sure, by the end I was praying for sweet death and cursing myself for being so hardheaded, but despite it all, it was a worthwhile Summer. For the first time, I was doing the Summer not just for myself, but for the people who continue to read and support my blog. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for taking part this year. This is both my most and least favorite year so far.

I’m glad I got such a diverse selection of titles to sink my teeth into, as well as opportunities to watch things I had been putting off for years. These fun concepts wouldn’t be possible without the help of you readers, so thank you, again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I only hope next time I won’t have to show my cynicism by smashing everyone’s choices.

Until next year!