Final Thoughts on Anime Winter 2017

Scum’s Wish

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A very steamy show that handles things of the sexual variety with sensitivity and nonchalance, Scum’s Wish takes a much more serious approach to high school and the intimidating, confusing relationships that form within it. Diving into the depths of conscious vs subconscious decision, characters of the show struggle with the metaphorical demons inside them as they continue to strive for someone that they know they can’t have. Continue reading

Kobayashi and the Joy of Shamelessness

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Last week I wrote about embarrassment comedy and how I think a lot of it has become annoyingly stagnant. In that piece, I mentioned Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, with the point being that even great shows can fall victim to the tired, old gag. I also noted, however, that it was one gripe in an otherwise fantastic anime. Most importantly, I claimed the show to have “delightfully shameless” characters, and so I think now is as good a time as any to elaborate on what I meant by that.

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Anime and the Embarrassment Cliché

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Alright, I’m just going to cut right to the chase on this one: I think I may be growing a bit tired of embarrassment humor. Embarrassment humor is the kind of comedy derived from the simple feeling of shame. These kinds of gags are something that you, assuming you’re even a casual anime viewer, have probably witnessed on more than one occasion. The typical scenario for this is a character making a foolhardy mistake. After they make said mistake, either a heavy amount of blush is applied to their now close-up chibi face or a frantic animation/editing style is utilized to emphasize their current psychological state. Continue reading

Moe Wars: NEW GAME! vs Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Part 2

Why Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is Fucking Incredible, Especially in Comparison to NEW GAME!

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The first thing that really annoyed me about NEW GAME! was that it chose a unique setting and utterly squandered it. Unlike the fantastic anime about creating anime, Shirobako, NEW GAME! really had no impressive industry insights to give, nor a worthwhile perspective inside an entertainment studio. So of course it made me question why it bothered having that setting at all. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid on the other hand, avoids misusing a setting by having one that’s completely normal. Dragon Maid takes place in a simple, grounded, residential area. There’s nothing particularly standout about the location the story takes place in, so it’s pretty much up to the characters to make the show something thrilling and original. Continue reading

Moe Wars: NEW GAME! vs Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Part 1

What is Moe?

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So I decided to start watching that maid dragon show that everyone was talking about and sharing visually stunning GIFs of. Boy was that a good call, because Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid quickly skyrocketed to the top of my “Favorite Anime This Season” list (which is currently a three-way tie with Konosuba and March Comes in Like a Lion). There are many things about this show that I believe are worthy of praise, but before I get to any of that, there was a certain connection I caught between this fantastic work and another recent anime that I found to be less than appealing, and I think there’s an interesting comparison to be had between the two. Continue reading