Anime

Is Valvrave Random, Comedic, Serious, or Something

Quick post–I’m going to analyze one moment from episode two of Valvrave which I think kind of represents the general atmosphere of the series (so far). This post stems from a Twitter conversation with epic anibloggers Mira and Scamp. The question of the hour basically: Is Valvrave bad? Or is it “bad“? Or is it, in fact, actually good? Well, obviously it’s a matter of opinion like always, and if there’s an opinion there’s a blog for it.

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My Top 10 Anime/Manga/LN Protagonists (For Now At Least)

art by Hiroyuki Asada

art by Hiroyuki Asada

Whelp, a discussion on Twitter got me wondering who I’d pick for my top ten favorite anime protagonists. So here’s a list I put together! Note that when I say protagonist, in this case I am referring only to the lead character of a series. I suppose it’s up to debate at times who the main character of some stories can be (e.g. at times you have a “title character” as well as your viewpoint character–it’s my opinion the viewpoint character is generally still the protagonist, unless said character doesn’t actually play a role in the story [i.e. just there to narrate, perhaps?]). I decided to include manga and light novels into this list, though I believe everyone here has actually been adapted into some kind of anime.

One thing to keep in mind for these sorts of lists is the fact that there are still many, many anime, manga, and light novels I have yet to enjoy. Also, there’s always some degree of “recency bias,” though I do try my best to not let that sway my placements on the list too much. But regardless, at the end of the day this is just a blog post–no serious business here. =P

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What’s Going On It’s Spring Already

art by Pixiv ID 1707967

art by Pixiv ID 1707967

So things are going well in Japan; I’ve finally settled in and am starting to get used to my new routine teaching children English and whatnot. And now that I have stable internet I can get back into the swing of blogging things every now and then. I’ve got a backlog of reviews to write for a whole bunch of games, at least. But in the meantime, feel free to check out my latest posts at Sea Slugs.

First of all, I wrap things up for Shin Sekai Yori:

And I start blogging an intriguing show for spring season:

Bonus Prizes:

Look forward to some game reviews in the upcoming weeks. I’m behind on all the winter anime I was watching (other than From the New World), so it may be a while before I get to posts on any of those.


I Like Stories That Keep Me Guessing

art by Pixiv ID 199808

art by Pixiv ID 199808

Consider this a mini-editorial where I get to the point right away! I like stories that keep me guessing. In other words, I appreciate it when a plot is set up in a way that encourages me to come up with theories regarding the work’s central mysteries. There are two anime from fall season that are starting to wrap up, and I am very excited to see how everything will pan out in the end. From episode to episode, I have been left wondering what would happen next. What decisions would characters would make? How will other characters react? Why did this series of events happen? Who is responsible for the central conflicts? And so on.

The series I have in mind, as you may guess if you ever visit Sea Slugs, are From the New World and Zetsuen no Tempest.

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Say I Love You – The Steps of Romance

Say I Love You, or Sukitte Ii na yo, was an anime I almost didn’t watch since there were so many good shows in the fall season. But during December I decided to watch a couple more episodes of it, and that led to watching the whole rest of the series shortly before the last episode aired. It was a wonderful anime–I strongly recommend it if you like the romance genre at all. It takes things a little more seriously than your average shoujo, but I wouldn’t call it dark or even that mature–it’s still a rather sweet and thoughtful series, and can put a smile on your face.

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A Ray of Light in Kamisama Hajimemashita

art by Pixiv ID 4080858

I really enjoy anime that get me thinking, or bring up really interesting ideas, or take me by surprise with unique concepts. But sometimes I just feel like watching something cute, funny, and heartwarming, and that’s where Kamisama Hajimemashita (AKA Kamisama Kiss) comes in.

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K – The Most Anime Anime That Was Ever AniMADE

I wanted to write a bit of a review/final post for each of the anime I watched in the fall that finished, so I decided I’ll start with K.

It’s Animazing?

K is interesting because it somehow feels very familiar and very peculiar at the same time. Everything about it screams ANIME to me. It’s full of unusual characters, most of whom are as hip and stylish as can be. There’s battles with magic, swords, and guns. Really goofy jokes. Random fanservice. A convoluted plot. And a fun, exciting setting full of Cool Stuff.

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Did it Have to End This Way? (Clannad: After Story)

This post is about the final episode of Clannad: After Story (i.e. episode 22). As such, there are major spoilers! If you want a spoiler-free post on After Story, click here. And for my thoughts on the first 21 episodes of After Story, you can find the post here (note that there are spoilers there as well).

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The Best of Times and Worst of Times with Clannad: After Story

I decided I will post my thoughts on episodes 1-21 of Clannad: After Story here, and my impressions on the final episode (ep 22) will appear tomorrow. There will be lots of major spoilers here, so this post is meant to be for those who have watched the whole Clannad series. For a review of After Story without spoilers, click here for yesterday’s post.

And now, CLANNAD: AFTER SPOILERS.

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Clannad: After Story Mini-Review

Clannad is an anime series based on a visual novel about a high school boy named Tomoya who helps out a number of girls with their life issues, and deals with a number of his own problems as well. A second anime season titled Clannad: After Story continues Tomoya’s story after he finishes high school, leading into him starting a family with the girl he falls in love with in the first season. In my opinion it’s very rare to see a story (in any medium) actually continue a romance into these later stages (i.e. from confession to marriage, events after marriage, having a child, etc), and for that reason alone I found After Story worth watching.

That said, I feel I need to organize my thoughts into three posts.

  • Clannad: After Story Mini-Review – which is this post, which I’ll keep free of major spoilers
  • Clannad: After Story (Ep 1-21) – which will focus on the first 21 episodes (and will have major spoilers)
  • Clannad: After Story (Ep 22) – which will focus on the final episode (and will obviously have major spoilers)

Actually I might be lazy and just make the last two posts into one, and just call it my post full of spoilers. And you thought anime blogging was predictable! There’s no telling what I’ll do.

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Winter STUFF 2013

Amnesia

I still have a bunch of posts to write, but I thought I’d go ahead and put together a post for the start of winter to try to be pertinent. AKA here are the shows I tried the first episode of, and my opinion of each.

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Fall 2012: Favorite Characters

Who were my favorite characters from the anime that aired in the fall? Well, it’s a bit hard to choose, to be honest! There were a lot of anime I really enjoyed, and it was largely thanks to the characters in all of them.

art by Pixiv ID 1701058

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Top 6 Anime I Watched in 2012 That Didn’t Air in 2012

I watched more currently-airing anime this year than I did older series, but I did watch enough that I think a top 6 list can be warranted for the end of the year. I’m not going to count the shows I finished at the start of 2012, which aired in 2011 (i.e. Steins;Gate, Gosick, and AnoHana, all three of which I greatly enjoyed BTW).

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Top 12 Anime of 2012 – Wheeeeeze

Let the party begin!!!!

This is the first time I’ve watched enough currently-airing anime in a year to actually do a list this long and feel okay about it, and all in all I’d have to say it was a great year to do so. I enjoyed all the anime on this list quite a bit, and I imagine you did too! Or maybe not, but you can pretend you tolerated at least one of them, can’t you?

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My Reaction to Ep 8-12 of Zetsuen no Tempest


The Power of Negative Thinking (Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei)

It’s been a little while since I finished the first season of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, but I think there are a few points I’d like to cover on my blog before I move on to more of the series. One of them concerns the protagonist Nozomu-sensei’s pessimistic way of thinking. Anything and everything leaves him in despair, which often leads to an in-depth extrapolation of every little thing related to the subject at hand that can be considered unfortunate or undesirable. Obviously Nozomu-sensei–like everyone in this series–is essentially a caricature with a single personality trait that is exaggerated for the sake of comedy. But it brings up the question: Just how negative are we in modern-day society?

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Placing the Story First – From the New World

I’ve been blogging each episode of From the New World over at Sea Slugs–if you’re watching this series I suggest checking out my posts! I’m hoping to get some discussion going for this series more. It really is one of the most thought-provoking anime I’ve ever seen. Or at the very least, it’s a very bloggable show.

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Summer 2012: Favorite Characters

Totally NOT the 12 days of Christmas… I’m just catching up on blog posts I’ve been meaning to get to!

I realized I never did a favorite characters post for the summer. Actually, I don’t think I did one for spring either, but I wrote a ton of posts about the spring season already, so I think I’m covered there. But summer… Who were my favorite characters for summer 2012?

These characters, of course. Our protagonist Sensei was definitely my favorite of course, but I really found everyone in this crazy show to be quite fun and interesting. And hilarious! It seemed that just about everyone in this show made me laugh, and they all had their own way of doing it.

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Clannad: Much More Comedy Than I Expected

I’ve got a bunch of blog posts I’m meaning to get to… I’ll start with one for Clannad, which I finished a little while back. This is a pretty popular series, and overall I found it rather interesting. I was expecting lots of drama and bittersweetness–and there was some, granted–but it seems most of that will come in the second season. For this first season of Clannad, at least, it was surprisingly really funny! For the most part I’d label the show a comedic slice-of-life with a romcom subplot.

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How Little Busters Could Have Been Ten Times Better

Plot Synopsis: Sasami Sasasegawa deigns to befriend four unpredictable boys who call themselves the Little Busters. She learns of their life problems, and is quick to solve them by enlisting her posse of fangirls to knock some sense into them. Once she’s laughed at their expense for a minute or two (OH!hohoho), she proceeds to flounder whatever the current episode is about, and everyone has a good time.

But in the end, which boy will Sasami acquiesce to date her? And which two boys will end up dating each other?


Durararararararara: So Did it Get Better or Worse?

Durarara at His Computer

It’s been a while since I posted anything about Durarara, but I’ve finally finished the series and wish to write at least my final thoughts on it. I remember when I was around the halfway point of the anime, and multiple people warned me that I was in for some tough times ahead. It seems that the season can be divided into two general story arcs–so how does the second half hold up in comparison to the first half?

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It’s Sometimes Worth Trying Old Anime You’ve Dropped Again

And by that, I mean it’s worth giving Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei a second try.

“The fact you once dropped my show has left me in despair!”

I don’t remember when I watched the first episode of this series–but I’m pretty sure it had to have been at least a couple years ago or so. The story behind my dropping the show is pretty short: I heard it was funny, gave the first episode a try, didn’t get the jokes, and found the whole thing too bizarre to keep watching.

So why did I give the show a second try now? As is often the case, I saw a rather good AMV of it. One thing led to another, and now I’m on episode 8 of the first season–all of which has been absolutely hilarious so far.

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Kamisama Hajimemashita is Everything a Shoujo Can Ask For

I can’t help but smile every time the OP starts for this series. And all throughout every episode of Kamisama Hajimemashita, I can’t help but be in a pleasant mood. It’s such an adorable anime. The characters are easy to like and the stories are fun and lighthearted, but there’s still enough of an actual plot happening that the characters develop a bit as the series progresses. It’s a series that has achieved the perfect balance of rom and com.

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Zetsuen no Tempest: Multiple Forms of Character Development

Zetsuen no Tempest is perhaps the anime I look forward to the most each week, thanks in large part to its fantastic plot twists, intelligent storytelling, and its high-quality animation and music. But as is so often the case for all my favorite stories, I’ve come to really like the main characters of this series.

Particularly Yoshino and Mahiro. And as such, I’ll be focusing on episode 4 for this post.

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