Attention to the Obvious – An Anime Trope

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You’ve probably noticed it before too, right? Those moments where something funny, shocking, silly, or whatever absolutely needs to be brought to your attention, so much so that a simple close up or basic body language portrayal isn’t enough to get the point across? I’m talking about bringing attention to the obvious, something I find more abundant in anime than in any other form of story-based entertainment. Now, I know it’s partially (if not mostly) a cultural thing with Japan, where the acknowledgement the little things in life is a very common notion. Saying “oishii” when your meal is delicious and “kawaii” when you see your normally tomboyish childhood friend in a stunning festival yukata is perfectly fine. However, there are times when I start to feel that some of these thoughts would be better off not spoken. Continue reading

Final Thoughts on Anime Spring 2016

Kiznaiver

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I enjoyed Kiznaiver quite a bit. It takes the idea of sharing pain and presents its possible consequences in a somewhat zany way. Instead of going for a very elaborate plot full of finely tuned twists and turns, Kiznaiver decides to take its core concept and just have fun with it, almost as if the story itself was an experiment. Continue reading

Best Glasses of Spring Anime 2016

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You knew this was coming. It was inevitable. I mean, my current name on Twitter is “GlassesLoverN64”. Now, I know this all seems like some sort of gag, but let me assure you that my love of nearsightedness is no laughing matter. Of course, personality always comes first. That I would not deny. However, in my research I have found significant correlations between the glasses to cuteness, and glasses to endearment ratios that provide striking evidence to support my thesis. Glasses>Not Glasses. It’s a fact, damn it. And now without further ado, here are the best characters with glasses of the 2016 spring anime season.

Shiraishi from Tanaka-kun is Always Listless

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Oh, Shiraishi. You’re feelings toward Tanaka are adorable, if not ill-founded, but I love you anyway. I’ve always had a soft spot for characters that actually try, characters that try so hard to be the person everyone wants them to be that they start to lose sight of who they really are. It’s then that a certain protagonist comes along that accepts the reality behind the persona, earning them the reluctant compassion of the said character. Shiraishi was so far gone that she decided wearing contacts would make her more likeable. Can you believe that? Contacts! Ugh, so gross. Luckily, Tanaka unintendedly brought some sense, and some love, into her nearsighted world, giving us yet another glasses donning character to adore.

Honoka Maki from Kiznaiver

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Have you been watching Kiznaiver this season? If not, what the hell’s wrong with you? It’s great, and it has TWO awesome glasses wearing characters, the first being Honoka Maki. At the time of me writing this, we’re only just diving into her backstory and really getting to know her as a character. She interests me greatly, and only 25% of that interest is due to her glasses. Honoka has an odd, somewhat dark sense of humor. I’d use examples, but I feel they might be spoiler-ish, so I’ll refrain for now. She also has some skeletons in her closet, and it’s supposedly this that causes her to distance herself from the others. Hopefully by the end of her little story arc we will truly understand what her deal is, and she can finally feel like part of the group.

Hajime Tenga from Kiznaiver

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I’ve talked about Tenga before, but I’d like to retread what I said again. Tenga is Kamina from Gurren Lagann, except I don’t hate him. I actually kinda adore him. Sure, he’s a bit of a brute, but he’s nowhere near the level of asinine that Kamina was on. Kamina was an undeserved leader and a truly terrible role model that only offered one lesson that would prove to be his undoing: Never give up. It’s a fine motto, but you’re going to need more than that to be an interesting or likeable character. What does this have to do with Tenga? Nothing. I just really hate Kamina. But perhaps I should save that for another post. Anyway, Tenga is great because he’s much more down to earth and doesn’t have his head all the way up his own ass. Tenga has fears and doubts and a sensitive side that I would love to see more of. Also, he’s probably in love with Chidori.

Doppo Kunikida from Bungo Stray Dogs

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I don’t think I’ve seen many dudes with ponytails in anime. There’s Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and uh…that’s all I got. Comment if you know anymore. But anyway, it’s not his ponytail that makes Kunikida so cool. It’s his glasses. And also his fighting style and personality, I guess. Kunikida is particularly adept at fighting even though his power could be hypothetically squashed just by taking his book away. Still, he keeps Dazai in check and seems to be the most well put together person in the agency, although that may not be saying much.

Secretary from Space Patrol Luluco

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Shout out to the secretary of Space Patrol Luluco. Sure she has no lines, but she probably puts up with more bullshit than any other character in anime ever. Plus she looks good in glasses.

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And that’s my list. Feel free to comment on any characters I missed this season. Also, tell me how you feel about glasses and who your favorite glasses wearing character of all time is. Thanks for reading, and come back next week to learn more about why Kamina sucks.

First Impressions of Spring Anime 2016

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Ah, nothing like a spring anime season after a cold, harsh winter anime season to warm one’s frigid heart. Can’t say I loved anything from last season, but I’m feeling a lot better now. In fact, I haven’t liked a line up this much since last spring. I wonder why that is…anyway, here are my impressions of a bunch of shows, all conveniently airing on Crunchyroll right now.

Kiznaiver

Let’s start off with the big one. I love everything about Kiznaiver. I love the characters, the plot, the art style, the humor, the characters, etc. Oops, I said “characters” twice. I guess that’s just because I find them so utterly enjoyable. Even though some are reminiscent of archetypes I usually dislike, they remove themselves enough from the standard and cut all the crap, leaving nothing but the good. Hajime Tenga is Kamina from Gurren Lagann, except I don’t hate him. Tenga doesn’t run his mouth quite as often, doesn’t force himself to be the leader, doesn’t do incredibly stupid things out of some misplaced sense of pride and determination. Sure, he’ll bust in to smack some bullies around, but he doesn’t hop into a fight he knows he can’t win. Hajime knows he’s not invincible, and most importantly, he has fear which makes him much more down to earth and relatable. The others are great too, and I feel like I should save that for another post. But aside from characters, I love the experimental plot Kiznaiver has, by which I mean literally throwing a group into an experiment. I love these kinds of plots because it allows you to throw whatever crazy shit you want at the characters and see what happens. And it adds an extra layer of mystery. Why are they being tested like this? Hopefully the payoff is as good as the setup, because Kiznaiver absolutely nailed it. Plus the art style is bloody gorgeous. Oh, and the OP and ED are 6/5 okay hand emojis.

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Joker Game

Every episodes seems like a slow burn to me. The set up leaves a lot to be desired as I often find myself fairly uninterested. But over time, usually to around the halfway point, I finally find myself entertained and I’m suddenly engaged in the espionage the show totes itself on. The show has a way of turning itself around near the end, but it doesn’t leave me wanting for more, so much as it has me satisfied with what I received. The characters however, are less than satisfying, due to the fact that I don’t know who any of them are. They all look incredibly similar (business suit, black short hair, sometimes glasses?) and besides the main character, they are all spies that relinquish as little information about themselves as possible. It’s very had to distinguish them, I certainly don’t remember any of their names, or faces, or any sort of defining characteristics whatsoever. The stories are interesting though, so it has that going for it. Joker Game is also set in WWII, which is…fun, I guess? I mean, WWII wasn’t fun, but it might be an interesting place to tell a story. Lastly, the OP and ED are not very memorable at all, to the degree that I can’t recall the tune in my head. I remember the OP had some cool visuals though, so there’s that.

Re:Zero –Starting Life in Another World-

I said it on Twitter and I’ll say it again. Re:Zero –Starting Life in Another World had generic fantasy RPG crap written all over it. So it came as quite the surprise when I found myself actually liking it. Sure, it’s not brimming with personality to the level of Kiznaiver, but it feels like it has something that’s strictly its own. And I’m not talking about the aspect of restarting. That’s already been done by The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. What makes Re:Zero its unique is typically what makes any story unique: the characters. Subaru is, for some reason, likable. Sure, right now he feels a tad thinly written, but he lacks the things that could make him a totally annoying dominator protagonist. Instead, he has no powers, isn’t incredibly smart, and gets beaten a lot. And when I say he isn’t incredibly smart, I mean he’s actually a little dumb, by which I mean he doesn’t get a grip on what’s happening as quickly as I would’ve liked. It’s not a problem though, it’s actually quite believable and in no way a turn off to his character. He actually reminds me of Juugo from Nanana’s Buried Treasure, who was also a good protagonist despite the lack of any powerful abilities. The more subtle action sequences in the show are quite enjoyable, but when Super Knight shows up, things get a little boring as he stomps everything in his way without even a sweat. I hope that doesn’t keep happening, as there’s rarely anything interesting about a flawless character. Also, the Ending theme is fantastic and I can’t stop listening to it.

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Mayoiga

Campy horror at its finest…okay, maybe not its finest, but I’m still having a good time. I do find it odd how a lot of it takes place in the daylight, as monsters usually thrives in the darkest of nights. But we don’t really know if there’s a monster yet. The group suspects it’s a bear, but a lot of creepy things keep going down and everyone’s on edge, so who knows what’s really going on? Perhaps the paranoia will reveal that they themselves were the monsters all along. Or whatever. Quite frankly, this entire motley crue seems SUPER killable from the very beginning, but perhaps that’s what the show wants us to believe. The foreshadowing in the first episode was almost blunt to be true. A bunch of people who are basically dead to society going off to hidden village that the outside world can’t seem to reach without a guide. Other than the lack of Wi-Fi, what could possibly go wrong? As for the characters, there’s only one in particular that I absolutely hate. Never in my life have I ever wanted a protagonist to die so much, but god, Mitsumune sucks so much, it’s borderline offensive. Hyperbole aside, he is such a little weeny that no character should find themselves liking, and yet of course he’s going to get at least two if not more girls blushing at just the mention of him. He’s young and dumb and weird around girls, and has no redeeming qualities outside of being the token nice guy that I’ve grown to despise over the years. Again, hyperbole aside, I hate him. But I love the Opening theme. The animation has its moments, but what really drives it home is the sick guitar. Gotta love it.

Tanaka-Kun is Always Listless

Gotta love it when shows use uncommon words like “Listless” or “Myriad” in their titles. Also gotta love it when a show is like Kawai Complex but sleepier. I like this show quite a bit, and what really makes the show great isn’t the main character. It’s the supporting cast. Tanaka-kun really only serves as the center of the show, around which the colorful and cute cast can shine around. Miyano is adorable, admirable, energetic and adorable. She’s everything I’d want my apprentice to be. But she’s not JUST cute. I don’t really like cute for the sake of cute, and so if Miyano was JUST cute I probably wouldn’t find myself liking her so much. You see, she can actually convey human thought and emotion, and has a motivation that makes sense, that doesn’t just exist to create exceedingly moe moments down the road. I mean, those happen anyway, but at least she has the drive to make it there. She’s more than just kawaii, I swear. And Oota is solid husband material. Away from the characters, the overall humor of the show is one that I enjoy. It’s lofty, some might even say tired (pun of the day), and worth a nice, soft laugh. I like the color palette, the overall style, and OP and ED. The ED is especially cheeky, I like where the two Miyanos run into each other and explode as the song ramps up a bit. Gotta love it.

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Flying Witch

Okay, I clearly got to stop saying “gotta love it” so much. I’m forcing it, and I know that, and I should tone it down before I beat my new catchphrase to death. As for Flying Witch, I would offer the opposite advice. Tone it up a bit, please, because right now I am very bored and sadly you do not have the humor that Tananka-kun has going for it. The characters are dull, the writing is bland, and I’m losing the will to keep watching. If this show is trying to be funny, I’m not laughing. If it’s trying to be cute, I don’t care. I hate being so harsh on a show like this, but there’s just nothing interesting going on. It’s come to the point where I’d actually pray for some fanservice, because then there might be something actually entertaining about this show. Right now Flying Witch is just a show about a witch that can fly. That’s it. We’ll see where this goes, but so far I’m not impressed.

Big Order

A weird show, with a weird plot, weird world, weird powers and weird mouth animations. I don’t understand what the main character’s power even is. He can dominate everything? Shouldn’t he be sitting atop a throne as ruler of the world? I don’t know about this, but the CG is pretty bad and the characters aren’t very likable. Not much else to say, really.

Space Patrol Luluco

I was hoping this wasn’t Inferno Cop again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Inferno Cop, but it’s an old joke that doesn’t need repeating. Thankfully, Space Patrol Luluco isn’t Inferno Cop. It’s kinda like Inferno Cop, but with some actual effort put into the writing. The jokes are funny, the characters are cute, the OP and ED are nice, and the plot seems to actually go somewhere.

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And that’s it folks! Sorry if you were looking forward to a list feature of anime characters that wear classes (as my last week post may have hinted at). Perhaps another time. So what do you think about the anime airing now? Do you love Kiznaiver as much as I do? What do you mean you haven’t watched it? Go watch it, it’s good, I swear. Feel free to leave your comments down below and come back next week for another feature. Thanks for reading!