March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 8 & 9

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I’m very much enjoying how connected this entire cast continues to become. Nikkaidou’s already met Rei’s “family”. So has Kyouko. And now Rei’s teacher is being thrown into the mix as he reacts furiously to news of Hinata’s predicament. His rage is offset by the show’s usual brand of comedic relief—whenever things get serious, the show becomes quite cartoony and overdone. And whenever things get REALLY serious, the show stops underplaying itself to ensure the deeper, somber moments REALLY strike chords in the audience. Continue reading

Sex, Symbolism, and the FranXX

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A lot of people are going cringe at, disregard, and dare I say, “criticize” Darling in the FranXX for entirely obvious reasons. Its bombastic symbolism is going to do more than roll eyes for jaded audiences because of its excessive nature. Like a cartoonish-ly oversized boxing glove with the letters “S-E-X” printed on the cushion over the knuckles, this tremendous left hook is certain to land a direct blow to anyone watching—but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episodes 6 & 7

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There has been a lot of themes and issues addressed in March Comes in Like a Lion, from these past few episodes alone…and I’m not certain how I feel about it, to be honest. It’s been a bit of a hard turn, really, as we delve into the realm of bullying after an entire season of merely shogi, making friends, and hinting at Rei’s troubled familial past. To turn to the problems of schoolyard hierarchy and mentality, after all that season one was about, has me worried this is more of a side story rather than a pivotal point in Rei’s growth. Continue reading

From Bad Anime Comes Good Inspiration Vol. 4 (A.K.A Danmachi Erotic Fan Fiction)

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Recently, I’ve been bringing back a lot of the old types of features I used to do. Why I Dropped… and Otaku in Anime are both fine subjects of writing (in my humble opinion), but when it comes right down to it, I do enjoy creating my From Bad Anime… features the most. For those unfamiliar, this kind of post is a creative writing exercise that I developed a little over a year ago, something born from the envy and smugness that I feel inside whenever I watch an anime that I KNOW I could do better than. For everything people often rightfully criticize about Sword Art Online, there was plenty of good things to take away from it as well—good ideas that, in the right hands…in my hands, could prove to be something far better than the actual result. So basically, I like writing fan fiction pitches that play off the original work by either “fixing” parts of it, or just taking what I like in a different direction. And so here we are, with me pitching what I think is a far better version of the story that is Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, or Danmachi for short. Also, I’ll give you an +18 warning on this one.  Continue reading

Anime of the Year / A GAMERS! Review (Part 2)

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These characters are fantastic, and their thoroughly conceived personalities and thought processes allow for such an otherwise common style of narrative to thrive. While Karen is truly responsible for setting the entire story into motion, the most pivotal character in GAMERS! has to be Tasuku. He is by far the most aligned with the general audience perspective, as he is able to pick up on almost every relationship development that doesn’t involve himself. His understanding of a given situation is often the most important of the entire cast’s, because it demonstrates the self-awareness of the creator. Continue reading

Anime of the Year / A GAMERS! Review (Part 1)

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It might not come as such as a surprise now that I’ve gushed on and on about best girl Chiaki, but GAMERS! is by far my favorite anime of the year. As a self-proclaimed connoisseur (and fervent lover) of anime rom coms, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that near the top of my annual list would be a member of the genre—had there been even a good one in the given year. Of course, just being a romantic comedy isn’t enough to earn such a prestigious award here at There Goes My Kokoro. When it comes to the densely populated crowd of high-school-slice-of-life-rom-coms, there are some clear indicators that separate the remarkable from the mundane. Those things, to me, are being able to show a deep understanding and love for generic conventions, and then going on to creatively utilize that knowledge and passion through avoidance, acknowledgement, and/or indulgence, ultimately giving birth to something original. Continue reading