Violet Evergarden: Everlasting Emotion(al Overload)

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While there is no confirmation for this, I have the impression that people come to this blog, read my criticisms, and assume that I am a very cynical and apathetic person. In my past, I can’t argue against this, as the foundations of this blog’s creation was deep within the realm of taking the craft of anime criticism very seriously—which led to a very conscious effort to establish the good from the bad, to be the authority of quality within the anime medium. The early stages of The Visualist’s Veranda, then called Criticism and Thoughts, has the presence of overwhelming cynicism and a tendency to alternate to a mocking, elitist tone. (more…)

Embracing the Rain with Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

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Those who have already read my Early Impressions post for this anime know that I have some history with this production. Prior to it even being announced as an anime, I was some twenty chapters into its manga source. Enjoying the anime before the anime even came about, I had some expectations for this piece that, should it follow closely to the manga, I was sure would be able to concoct an insightful and memorable experience. (more…)

“The Objectively Subjective Objective” — A Reassessment

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Four months ago, I spit out a somewhat heavy topic titled “The Objectively Subjective Objective.” With this piece, I tried to elaborate upon the system with which I judge anime and visual media in general. Claims such as denying that “theories and opinions cannot be objective” and that if everything were subjective there would be no point in critiquing anything fill the page with an almost condescending air of frustration and bullheadedness. That post was unplanned, and writing through it, a large portion of the arguments I made were on the spot, without the sanction of some measure of forethought. In recent weeks, I’ve found myself thinking about the ways in which certain products can be both good and bad, and have found a comfortable acceptance with how nothing is generally concrete—that the things that can be determined as good or bad in art is purely subjective.

It’s taken some number of years, but I’m ready to forgo the “objective” discipline. (more…)

Hope! Happiness! Headaches! Ore Monogatari!!

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Look at this guy, groovin’ around on the cover of his manga story. Look at his lips, his physique, his eyebrows. He is the most likable shoujo lead I’ve ever come across. Though it’d be hard to find yourself hating what is essentially the perfect character.

I’m not trying to be condescending; Takeo, the glamorous man you see above, is by all accounts a perfect character, or perhaps more suitably, a perfect person. His gentleness exceeds that of the typical shoujo female lead, his earnestness is almost puppy-like, and he places others above himself on a level that rivals Goku from Dragon Ball Z. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and everyone—and I mean everyone—loves him for being so transparent. No other word describes him better than “Goofball,” with as tender a stigma as the word possesses when spoken from someone who genuinely and wholeheartedly cares. Takeo carries the entire story on his gargantuan shoulders, and he is what keeps the readers coming back.

He is the beacon, too, for the flaws that make this an ultimately unfulfilling and eventually irritating read. (more…)

Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) and Retro Vibes and You

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In an era of entertainment where nostalgia is among the most powerful stimuli, Mahoujin Guruguru’s presence seems pretty appropriate. This particular series is technically a reboot/remake, with a series under the same name being developed over twenty years ago, specifically in 1994. That interpretation of the 1992 manga series (again, under the same name) was more geared towards a family-friendly and optimistic nature. The year is now 2017, and audiences have been desensitized to a vast array of topics due to the rise of the internet and all it displays. That could be why this version of the now-famous manga series is rated for audiences a little older than its original demographic.

Now I haven’t seen the original Mahoujin Guruguru, so I can’t say for sure how extensively its potty humor or graphic themes were displayed, only going off of the “Rated G for Everyone” tag found on MyAnimeList. With Guruguru (2017), however, there are various instances of things I certainly wouldn’t expect to see in a rated-G flick. Half-naked women (and men) and mostly sexual innuendos, though there’s also a large display of disregard for the fellow man… so that might count? Whatever the case, there’s a bit of an edge to this representation, which could signify the changing of the times and what audiences wish to expect from an already known commodity. Despite this, I couldn’t help but feel like I was living in the late nineties once again. (more…)

Thoughts on Little Witch Academia (TV)

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Oh, yeah. I was watching this at one point, huh?

For those who need a little refresher (I did, too), my Early Impressions post will be linked to fill in some context as to what made me put this on-hold for so long in the first place. Well, it’s not entirely the reason, but it casts a shadow much larger than what many would expect.

Its so-called “blandness” is a vast generalization of what the series entails. Its chaotic animation and the subsequent style it presents makes it a bouncy title well worth its fantasy premise. This is not, however, something of a Kill la Kill presentation, where characters are literally breaking the laws of physics and common sense. A “controlled chaos” sort of presentation, carefully picking its moments of whimsical rambunctiousness. More than the common series, it’s underwhelming for a Trigger-animated show. Not that I necessarily hold that against it, but it’s a thought. (more…)