O Maidens in Your Savage Season Review

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My first impression after finishing this series was that the ending was rushed. There were certain characters and sub-plots that needed more time develop, but instead felt pushed to the side in order to give focus to a more bombastic and engaging climax. After said climax, an arbitrary time jump occurs to showcase the characters’ near futures but ignores the immediate falling action of the incident and repercussions for the people involved. The conclusion feels like a hastily tied together bow for a series that was, at the last minute, assured not to receive a second season. However, after looking into the manga, I found out the anime actually follows the source material quite accurately. This isn’t to say O Maidens in Your Savage Season: “the anime” is excused from critique of having a lackluster ending, as an adaptation shouldn’t necessarily be judge on the merits of how well it copied the original. I’m just merely pointing out that this was the original creator Mari Okada’s intention. And although I started this review at the end, and seem to have favored it rather poorly, there’s still a lot to enjoy in this funny, awkward, and earnest coming-of-age story.

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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