What Makes a Great Adaptation: Bakemonogatari Book v. Anime (Part 2)

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To reiterate once again: The core essence of Monogatari is absurdity. Because of the amount of dialogue meant to convey that sense of absurdity is too overwhelming for an anime adaptation, the sense of such intense absurdity had to be translated over in other ways. SHAFT found this way to be converting it into the mise en scene: the things we see in frame. Continue reading

What Makes a Great Adaptation: Bakemonogatari Book v. Anime (Part 1)

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Recently I just finished reading the official translation of NISIOISIN’s brilliant mystery novel, Strangulation: Kubishime Romanticist, and it got me thinking about another fantastic book written by the same man that was adapted into an equally amazing, but vastly different anime. Specifically, I started thinking back to the days when Bakemonogatari was a little more relevant (in the mainstream—it’ll always be relevant to me) and the conversation about the “quality” of the adaptation was still in flow. Bakemonogatari the light novel was ultimately a very different beast from Bakemonogatari the anime, with the most quantifiable disparity being the amount of dialogue. Continue reading

Oshino Meme: The Man We All Should Strive to Be

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It’s been years since the last time I wrote about Oshino Meme, one of my favorite characters in all of fiction. Back then I wasn’t as concise about why I admired the character so much, and that was due to the fact that I myself didn’t have much of a grasp on what it was about that him I found so incredible. Sure, he has the chillest attitude and impeccable fashion sense, but that doesn’t really account for why I found myself so deeply fascinated in his persona. Once I started building up my knowledge of philosophy, I started to see Oshino for what he really is: A supreme being of balance and an absurd, realist ideal of how we should direct ourselves in the world. Continue reading

Deadpan in Anime: Megumi Katou

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I love deadpan characters. To me, the ability to be expressionless ranks high in my tier list of personality traits. Girls (in particular but not exclusively) that can play things as straight as humanly possible are awesome. Deadpan girls command the tone of every scene they’re in, by breaking the ice and cutting directly to the core of any given scenario. They’re not bound by the traditional rules of conversation, and so they can hurry things along while adding on a nice comedic edge with their fascinating disregard for etiquette and naturality. Forget segues and small talk, I prefer speed and wit without any of the smugness, or emotion of any kind. This is what deadpan girls are and should always be—or so I once thought. Then I met Megumi Katou from Saekano. Continue reading

Anime of the Year 2018

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Before I get into my favorite anime of 2018, I’d like to go over some notable shows that could easily swap in for There Goes My Kokoro’s coveted title and still be just as worthy. A Place Further Than the Universe is a show that means the world to me, and an anime that I connected with on a level that I haven’t felt since The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (2012)—uncoincidentally from the same director. Atsuko Ishizuka is an inspirational genius that understands how to convey filmic meaning in ways I hope the industry at large is taking note of. Describing Violet Evergarden as utterly breathtaking wouldn’t even begin to do the show justice. Chief animation director Akiko Takase had already blown my mind with her work on Sound! Euphonium, and now with this showing I don’t think my brain is ever going to truly recover—and this goes without even mentioning the harrowing narrative behind the anime’s immeasurable beauty. Continue reading

A Sort of Japanese History Lesson + An Update on Your Name

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I regret to inform you all that my “highly anticipated” video on why Your Name Would Work Better as a TV Series will have to be delayed a little longer. Script writing is more challenging than I had realized, and the weather has been quite awful lately–not allowing for me to go out and film some footage on location that I would like to add to the video.  This feature is gearing up to be the biggest thing I’ve ever done on this blog, and so I want to take my best step forward as I finish and release this project. I greatly appreciate your patience. For now, I’d like to share with you a piece I wrote for a Japanese historical fiction class. I thought this may perhaps be of interest to some of you, as I did receive some nice responses the last time I posted about something not anime-related (Tokyo Story: The True Essence of Japanese Domesticity). This piece is about a short story called Date’s Black Ship; part of a collection titled Drunk as a Lord, written by Ryoutarou Shiba. Finding a translated copy (at least through legal means) seems to be a pain in the ass, so I wouldn’t blame you if you never read it yourself. Just know that it takes place around Japan’s Meiji restoration period, and is about a man tasked with replicating American technology the likes of which the previously self-isolated nation had never seen before. It was one of the most interesting times in all of Japanese history, and I found myself deeply fascinated in the different perspectives that could be found in this great turning point of Japan. Perhaps you may find yourself fascinated as well. Now I’m going to get back to working on my Your Name and Anime of the Year 2018 posts. See you tomorrow, and thanks for reading. Continue reading