Anime Lookout | Winter 2017

Once again, we’ve dawned upon the winter season, which also means there’s not a lot of anime to watch right now! Yep, though there have been exceptions in the past, much like the winter season of 2016, 2017’s first batch of anime outings is rather lackluster. I’m not sure why this is the case (I’m no expert on why anime air when they do), but it leaves me with few interesting shows to cover, and little to really care about. That being said, there are still plenty of solid offerings this season… In the form of sequels.

That’s right, even though I usually gloss over them, this season I’m covering some sequel premieres! Desperate times call for desperate measures, and boy oh boy am I going to try to deliver a full slate of write ups, no matter the cost. I hope you enjoy the post, and let’s get this show on the road! Continue reading

Shelf Review | Welcome to the Ballroom Vol. 1

welcome-to-the-ballroom

If any of you have looked at my MAL page, you’ve probably noticed that I’m not the biggest fan of shonen manga/anime. One Punch Man wasn’t one of my favorite shows that aired last year, and while I do have favorites in the genre, I can’t say my affection for them is all that strong. However, that isn’t to say I dislike shonen either! My Hero Academia won me over instantly with its lovable protagonist, I think Hunter x Hunter is genuinely complex and multilayered, and I’m a moderate fan of Haikyuu!! It isn’t that I don’t like shonen material, it’s just that in order for it to really grab me it’s got to stand out in terms of character or tone.

Which brings us to the topic of today’s Shelf Review, aka Welcome to the Ballroom Volume 1, which I bought in order to expand on my small manga library. The story starts off with all the typical plot points you’d expect from this kind of venture: a young protagonist who doesn’t know what he wants to do, a cute girl with a secret passion, and a lot of intense practicing. However what makes Welcome to the Ballroom work is its unique subject matter. Dancing is an often disregarded sport, and to see it portrayed in a competitive environment is refreshing. Continue reading

Anime Lookout | Fall 2016

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year since my first Anime Lookout post! Back then I wrote the Fall 2015 just to get something out on this site, and now it’s become the only consistent series I have (I have a Shelf Review in the works, I swear). A lot has changed since then, school’s gotten more intense, I had a summer vacation in Europe, and a bunch of photos got wiped from my media library (sorry about that). But that’s enough with the sentimentality, we’re here to talk about one thing and one thing only: season premieres!

The fall season has always been one of my favorites, both in real life and in the world of the anime industry. Fall is a time for big industry hits, but unlike the similarly populous spring season, the projects released during this time are a lot more willing to take risks. Shirobako, Kyousougiga, Concrete Revolutio, all of these amazing shows have premiered during the fall in my brief life as a seasonal chart watcher; and there have been quite a few changes in the North American licensing landscape to really help me dig into what this year’s final season has to offer.

Before the Crunchyroll and Funimation partnership that was announced last month, I had always been inclined to pass on Funimation shows that didn’t seem like must watches, but now that everything licensed by them is on Crunchyroll, I have no reason to be restrained. Combine this with Amazon Prime’s new streaming only subscription and Daisuki’s somewhat manageable player, and that means a lot more people have legal access to the show’s coming out this season. And as such, I took the plunge on everything I was remotely interested in! This is probably going to be a long post, so strap on your seatbelts on and get ready to not read this in one go, because you’re about to read a lot of rambling words. Let’s get this show on the road!

P.S. I would include impressions for Natsume Yujincho Go and Mobile Suit Gundam: IBO’s second season, but I’m still trying to catch up. If I do a follow up to this post at the end of the season, you can definitely expect them to be there. Continue reading

Anime Lookout | Summer 2016

So you may be wondering why this post is a little later than usual. Well, due to a long vacation in Europe I missed every premiere until this week. Not that I’m complaining, I mean Europe is pretty amazing. Still, I felt kind of guilty considering Anime Lookout is my only consistent post series, so I tried to watch as many shows I could without completely short circuiting my brain. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the post!

P.S. I would probably be complaining about Berserk’s CGI right now, but I still haven’t watched the first season. Continue reading

Shelf Reviews | Kizumonogatari: Wound Tale

Kizucover

Introduction:

Originally I wasn’t going to even write an introduction for this new post series, but I figured I should explain what’s going on here. You see, I’ve been pretty annoyed in the past months because the other two review series I had going were incredibly difficult to maintain. Gonzo Hell would have involved me buying a majority of the shows I listed for coverage, and Journey through Gundam was much the same. So instead of continuing those, I decided that it would be better to review the anime and manga that I actually own.

And so here we are! In each of these Shelf Review posts, I’ll be covering a light novel, book, or anime series that I have personally bought. This will not only force me to use the things that I buy, but it also will hopefully make my review output on this site more consistent. Anyways, that’s been enough stalling; on with the review! Continue reading

Anime Lookout: Spring 2016

The anime spring season: a season of big anime hits and cherry blossoms… You know, I actually don’t really like spring all that much. Maybe that’s just because I live in an area where spring is pretty wet, but it may also be because I always end up with a light load in terms of anime watching content during this time of year.

Still, I can’t deny that I was incredibly excited for this season. Even though I had no clue what was going to be good (besides obvious picks like Concrete Revolutio S2 and JoJos Part 4), everything looked unique and striking. There was Guilty Crown Part 2: Attack on Trains, Tsutomu Mizushima and the bus of too many people, and some new high profile Trigger productions. Really you can’t get much more interesting than that.

And so I went all out. Unlike previous seasons where I tried to restrain myself, I attempted to cover everything that piqued my interest me (Except Kuromukuro, because Netflix), including some sequels and shorts. My soul may have died in the process, but I’m glad I did this, since now I can say I watched almost everything this selection of premieres had to offer… For better, and for worse.

Continue reading

A Brief Overlook | The Wind Up Bird Chronicle

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Recently I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more. A few years ago, you would find me reading about 60-75 books a year, a number which seems absolutely baffling in retrospect. That would mean I would have consumed probably millions of pages each year, though it would have admittedly been made up of a lot of YA fodder and the occasionally more thought provoking Newbery award winners.

Still, I kind of miss those days. Being a writer, one of the most important thing I should be doing is reading, reading, and, well, reading. Consuming the works of other writers isn’t just a good way to absorb techniques, but it also helps you better understand what you like and don’t like to write about in your own fiction. Do you hate unsympathetic characters? Do you find certain stylistic quirks to be generic and/or annoying as hell? Then it’s safe to say you shouldn’t try to write using those tools.

So with these efforts, I decided to finish up a book I started all the way back in July, aka Haruki Murakami’s seminal late 90’s classic The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I got into Murakami about two years ago with his most recent novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Many Years of Pilgrimage, which I learned about through the lovely folks on anitwitter. And while my roots with him are centered in my weebiness, my appreciation of his work is decidedly much more literary. Continue reading