Thoughts on Maquia

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Maquia: When the Promised Flowers Bloom finally made its way to a theater near me, so like any other anime film that comes my way, I had to go out and see it. What was really nice about this experience was that, unlike typical American movie releases, I went in knowing virtually nothing about what I was going to watch—which I believe is the best way to experience any film. Japanese trailers just seem to spoil much less, though even if they didn’t, they’re still much easier to avoid than, say, the latest Marvel movie. And so, with no conscious expectations in mind, I eagerly awaited whatever it was Mari Okada had in store for me. For the most part, I was incredibly pleased. Continue reading

SAO Alternative: A Meaningless Good Time

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Sword Art Online gets a lot of hate, and I won’t argue against those that believe it’s well deserved. What I will argue against, however, is that its spin-off series is better due to being in the hands of a seemingly more capable writer. While I’m no fan of Reki Kawahara, I do believe his original work has something important that its spin-off series from Keiichi Sigsawa does not: A message. As enjoyable as Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online was, it certainly lacked a coherent theme for which I could remember it by. A lesson to be learned, or even just a question intently posed at the audience to think about—anything worthwhile to be taken from it once the show was finished, aside from a really good time. As much as I like cool action for the sake of it, I wonder if there can ever be enough flashy explosions and impressive fight choreography to truly make up for a lack of meaning within a story. When looked at individually, I would say GGO does not manage to make up for that shortcoming. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 11

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It seems to me that we’re jumping around quite a bit as this series progresses. There’s so many narrative threads being unspooled despite not being the type of show I’d expect such intense complexity from. March Comes in Like a Lion is, at its core, a REAL slice of life. While there is a bit of extraordinary to be found in the fact that Rei is a child prodigy, his life is portrayed very casually with very low stakes to arise in his story. This isn’t some “rise of a legend” tale meant to take us on a ride of exhilarating highs and soul-crushing lows—no, this is just the humble story of Rei, and everyone around him, trying to make it through life. So, I find it interesting how I connected complexity with intensity, even though I’m not sure where, when, or why that link was created in the first place. I just expect intense shows to have many intricate threads, which makes March Comes in… such a sweet surprise in that it too has many narrative branches, but presents them with an uncommonly pleasant demeanor. Continue reading

Quick Thoughts on Fireworks

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Fireworks is…a bit of a mess, and most people are probably going to rightfully point that out. Taken at a basic level—the level of which general audiences will most likely perceive—the plot, dialogue, and acting are at least weird, if not completely stupid, nonsensical, and hopelessly romantic. The way characters act and engage with each other doesn’t entirely make sense. It’s like watching an alternative world that looks almost exactly like our own, with the only differences being the way fireworks look, and the way human nature is portrayed. Sometimes it’s as simple as the feeling of wanting something only when you can no longer have it—which is completely relatable. At other times, it’s as if characters act without any conscious whatsoever, saying idiotic things and committing obscenely asshole-ish acts. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 10

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Never in my life have I ever needed an episode recap before. Quite frankly, it’s one of the biggest reasons I’ve held the shounen genre in contempt for so many years. Episode recaps are most often nothing but a time-filler, masquerading as a service for those with weak memories, or for people like me, whom jump back into series after prolonged hiatus. More likely than not though, what you left off on will most likely come back to you anyway, so long as what happened was at all worthy of being remembered—at least, that had always been the case for me, which is why I’ve come to deem recaps as near-intolerable wastes of time. That all being said…I kinda appreciate the recap this episode of March Comes in… gave me. Continue reading

The Greatest Political Anime of Our Generation

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I recently had the pleasure of finishing the masterpiece known as Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist. As of now, it ranks among the highly esteemed list that is “Crispy’s All-Time Favorite Anime”—a very exclusive list, I assure you. Of course, there are many reasons why I think so highly of it. One of those reasons…I just love dirty jokes, and I would do anything to live in a world where it is okay to indulge in them. My second reason for loving this show, however, is what spawned this post—because never, in all my history of anime-watching, have I seen an anime handle politics so perfectly. Continue reading