Layers of Fun in Night is Short, Walk on Girl

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Theatrical releases of anime movies here in the states are always an exciting time for me. These days, I never miss an anime film’s American debut—so long as they meet my two requirements: 1) Must be coming to a theater near me and 2) MUST be subbed. Whether the movie itself was a flop or not, I tend to always have a good time seeing them the way they are meant to be experienced. Sure, I could do without being surrounded by strangers in a large, dimly lit room, but there’s just nothing that beats a giant screen and cinema quality sound. Decent headphones and an HD computer monitor can’t really compare to the true theater experience, even though they do allow me to take screenshots for my blog. Viewing preferences aside though, your set up can only be as good as the awesome things you have to show on it. Luckily Night is Short, Walk on Girl has plenty of awesomeness to go around. Continue reading

To The Audience,

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As a quick note to the audience before my next feature posts (October 1st), I wanted to say this: Hi. I’m back. It’s been a while, and I could bore you with a thousand and one reasons for why I haven’t been posting, but I won’t. My intense hatred of excuses would never allow that. I certainly don’t deserve a reprieve for my tremendous laziness, and while you could tell me I shouldn’t beat myself up too much for it, that advice would probably fall on deaf ears. Discipline is what I lack, and it’s something I need if I truly want to become stronger…and I do. I really do take to heart the simple lessons of life that come with your typical shounen anime. As childish, corny, idealistic, or just plain naïve as it may seem, I want to be the very best, like no one ever was. I want to be the symbol of peace, the number one hero. I want to be the goddamn Hokage, BELIEVE IT! Continue reading

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