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

Sangatsu no Lion’s Best Fight: Burnt Field Arc

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March Comes in Like a Lion is certainly a long shot away from being even remotely considered a shounen anime, yet that didn’t stop the show from having one of the most gripping fight scenes I’ve seen in quite a while. What makes the battle an even greater accomplishment is how well the story props up a character that we’ve barely spent any time with and manages to make him into not only a riveting hero, but a goddamn legend. While his competitor doesn’t receive the same treatment to make both sides equally compelling, it almost doesn’t matter because the championship match has so much more meaning and stakes behind it than just a title. Continue reading

March Comes In like a Lion S2 Final Episodes Review (13-22)

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I said I would finish this, and so I will damnit! Though the time it took for me to complete it might leave you to believe otherwise, March Comes in Like a Lion is a show that I thoroughly enjoyed. While I didn’t feel compelled enough to keep up its weekly simulcast, part of me believes that was kind of by design. March Comes in… is a genuine Slice of Life anime, and so the show very rarely uses dramatic cliffhangers to grab at my continued attention. Instead what I was met with were moments of captivatingly real and subtle drama, unfolding over long periods rather in several big, but ultimately short, bursts. Some things don’t even get properly resolved, and oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to bother me. Sure, I’d love to know what’s happening with Kyouko at some point, but in the end, she’s not really what this story is about. So instead of lamenting over her lack of screen time, I’d like to go over what does happen in the final chapters of this season. Continue reading

Feature Week – PAUSED-

Hey guys, I’ve decided I’m not gonna overwork myself. Every time I look at my schedule I realize I just can’t do things on the weekends due to my day job (typically I work 20 hours on the Saturday to Sunday). I regret having to pause Feature Week, but it is what it is. Don’t worry though, I’ll still hit the full seven days–it’ll just take until Thursday. So I hope you all enjoy your weekends, I’ll see you when I resume posting on Monday.

Yorimoi’s Perfect First Episode

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Otherwise know as A Place Further Than the Universe, Yorimoi is an astounding directorial feat from beginning to end. Starting with the very first episode, Studio Madhouse—helmed by my favorite director of all time, Atsuko Ishizuka—hits the audience hard with impeccable writing, animation, and visual design, all finely crafted around a single theme. It all begins with a few lines speaking of stagnation, using imagery of a pool of water held up in a children’s sand pit. As Kimari talks about her will to break away and spring into action, her childhood depiction of herself breaks the wall of sand and causes the sitting water to burst out the side. Continue reading

I finished Re:Zero. Subaru is still awful

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After many people telling me to continue watching Re:Zero because it “gets better in the second half”, I decided “fuck that” and dropped the series. My main, if not only issue with the anime was that its protagonist, Natsuki Subaru, was too much of a loud-mouth, brain-dead, unbearable loser. Two years later, and not much seems to have changed…except that I ended up finishing the series for reasons even I don’t quite understand. Continue reading