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.

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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

Critical Reviews 2015

Hey guys! I’ve recently finished up another semester of school, and with that all over and done with, I figured I might share a little something extra on this site. During the last semester I took a Poetry class, but we didn’t just write iambic pentameter! In fact throughout the semester I got to take pleasure in writing some 100 word reviews. Yes, 100 words exactly.

These reviews have been some of the most editing intensive pieces I’ve worked on– And this is coming from someone who actually tries to finish his short stories! I spent hours cutting words out of these things, and while I can’t say I always enjoyed the process (Or got good results for that matter), it was a great critical exercise. My posts tend to run at about 1,200 words long at their shortest, so condensing what could have easily been long essays into a few sentences was quite the challenge.

Overall, I’m proud of the work I did, and I think it’s really helped me better understand myself as a critic. I wrote four reviews, each of focused in a different medium, and while one of them is not very good, the other three are pretty great in my opinion! Of course it also helps that I had some good material to review (Except the crappy review. That one is, ironically, is the most negative out of the bunch). Anyways, I hope you enjoy the post! Continue reading

Anime Lookout: Winter 2016

Wow, two seasons in a row… It’s a miracle!

That’s right everyone, I’m back for yet another generic aniblog post that covers random episodes from the new season. Exciting, isn’t it? Flaccid sarcasm aside though, I’m going to be quite honest when I say I had basically the lowest expectations going into this season. Besides a few anime with PRESTIGE written on their foreheads, most of the shows I watched this season were entirely on a whim, or for the sake of my lame curiosity (Why else would I watch SANZIGEN’s new show?). As such, I ended watching some real garbage, but sometimes that’s fun.

Considering this is the month my school finals are happening, it’s kind of nice to find an easy release for my frustration. I also went out of my way to talk about the best of the best, so if you’re here just to see what is good, don’t worry! You won’t have to wade through too much crap. Another tidbit I would like to point out is that I won’t be spouting off plot summaries here, so if you want one, click on any of the title links to get transferred to the series’ MAL page. Anyways on with the post! Continue reading

Gonzo Hell | Romeo x Juliet

Romeo X Juliet Title

If there were ever an anime that I didn’t think I would like from my selection of Gonzo shows, it probably would have been Romeo x Juliet. I mean just look at it. Anime adaptations of classic literature have always weirded me out, especially ones that incorporate fantasy or sci-fi elements (Which Romeo x Juliet has in spades). It just seems kind of like a fanfiction. The title certainly doesn’t help either. The “x” between the Romeo and Juliet reminds me of the days when my friends would ship school teachers and their classmates, and I shipped Johnlock while watching Sherlock on PBS Masterpiece… Those were dark times.

Strangely enough though, I enjoyed Romeo x Juliet. In spite of some glaring flaws, it consistently kept me watching with its strong heart. Romeo x Juliet feels like it was made by people who cared, or at least were interested in the source material. And considering what most other Gonzo shows are like (I’m looking at you Witchblade), I’m very pleased that this show feels like it had some thought and effort put into it. Continue reading

Gonzo Hell | Introduction

Once upon a time in the early and mid 2000’s, there existed an anime studio called Gonzo. It was a rather successful studio, releasing multiple shows per season, all usually getting licensed by Funimation or ADV Films. They were critically acclaimed for their animation (Most of the time), and a lot of fans anticipated their newest releases (For some reason). Still their reign did not last for long, for when the economy crashed in 2008 Gonzo was put into dire straits, gaining a reported deficit of 30 million dollars. Gonzo could not longer produce four shows in one season, they could longer produce manga adaptations at nauseum hoping for a big hit, and they could longer be a hot topic in anime. Eventually they merged with their parent company GDH in 2009, causing them to become completely inactive in 2010. They still exist, but they only release one show per year at most; with their newest release being a moe show about voice actors called Sore ga Seiyuu. Continue reading

Journey through Gundam | Turn A Gundam

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Gundam. If you know anything about anime then you’ve probably heard about it at least once. Starting in 1979 with the influential Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, the Gundam Franchise has grown over the years into a massive omnipresent aspect of anime and mecha culture. Sure it’s had its ups and downs (I mean one of the only Gundam series to have gained any real traction recently is Gundam Build Fighters), but it helped spawn the Real Robot genre and has produced some really interesting shows throughout its long lifespan.

So I decided to check some of them out! That’s right, from today onward I’m going to be randomly posting reviews about random Gundam series and OVAs from the past and present. As such, I decided to start with one of today’s most acclaimed entries in the franchise, and one of the most recent ones to have made it over here to the states on DVD through Right Stuf’s collaboration with Sunrise. That’s right, I’m going to be talk about the crazy Tomino spectacle that is Turn A Gundam.

Turn A, Turn, Turn A, Turn, TURN AAAAAAAAA! Continue reading