Worth Reading: Links, news, and views. 9/21-9/27

Welcome to this week’s edition of Worth Reading!  Yes the photo is related to one of this week’s links – but it’s so scrumptious looking I just had to post it first.

Photo courtesy of 5th Luna at Flickr

I seem to keep concentrating on articles about older shows and then this week
Tsuyuki at Anime Corps posts this very relevant article – Rewatch Dilemma.  He discusses the experience and the pros and cons of various approaches to rewatching anime you loved the first time through.

Also on the topic of ‘looking back’ , Ace at Humble Ace talks about The (not so) Small Ways Attack on Titan Appealed to 16-y/o Me.  I don’t think anyone is surprised that Eren is noticeable by his absence…  I can’t think of any other wildly popular anime with a lead character so widely loathed.

planetarian-kv

Jon at Jon Spencer Reviews takes a look at Summer 2016’s outstanding Planetarian.  For me Planetarian was my AOTS that season, a significant vote of confidence considering that Orange and Sweetness and Lightning aired the same season.  At only five episodes, it’s a quick watch and well worth seeking out.  It’s still available on Funimation and VRV.  I’ve had the VN sitting on my computer for months now (Steam had it on sale back in late winter) and I really need to play it soon.

The Weekend Otaku takes a different look at an older series – comparing the anime and live action version of Your Lie in April.  He examines how the a slightly different story emerged from the choices made to fit the long and wandering tale into a much more limited run time.

So far we’ve looked at an adaptation of a VN and a live action adaptation…  And continuing on that theme, Karandi at 100 Word Anime reviews the first volume of Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash.  There’s not many comparisons with the anime, but she does shed some light on the differences between the two.

Earlier in the week, the announcement that One Punch Man 2 would have a new director and be animated by a different studio caused quite a stir.  Scott at Mechanical Anime Reviews posts in response how he is worried about sakuga culture – basically he’s bothered by the concentration on the ‘look’ of the show.

I’ve been dreaming of visiting Japan for years, long before getting into anime…  (I refuse to use the term bucket list, it sounds so mechanical and I loathe it.)  While there are a few anime pilgrimages I’d like to make, much of what I want to do are either standard touristy stuff or off the beaten path touristy stuff.  (Such as visiting Basho’s grave, and other sites associated with haiku and haiku poets.)  With that in mind, Yukinocake at The Only Shinyuu Site posted a couple of interesting pieces:

  • Anyone who knows me well, knows why the next article catches my eye…  5 Quintessentially Japanese Autumn Foods You Must Try.  Food and cooking is another of my central interests, and if you’re exploring the season in a country you should go all in and try the associated foods.

Hit the jump for this week’s ‘below the fold’ material and a look forward to my posting schedule for the next few weeks.

Continue reading “Worth Reading: Links, news, and views. 9/21-9/27”

Summer begins to fade… Summer 2017 Week 11

Well, it’s the first day of Fall today and we’ve already had our first round of cold and rain here in the Pacific Northwet.  That fits perfectly with this week’s summer season shows, which are almost all finale or penultimate episodes.

Screenshot (107)

Let’s hit the jump and get right to it!

Continue reading “Summer begins to fade… Summer 2017 Week 11”

Worth Reading: Links, news, and views. 9/14-9/20

Welcome to this week’s Worth Reading!

Last week I linked to a review of Kiki’s Delivery Service and pondered on why Ghibli movies were so rarely reviewed. Reader Dawnstorm however provided the simplest and most likely explanation – the anime community concentrates mostly on streaming and current season stuff. That being said, reviews of and articles on older stuff aren’t exactly uncommon.

  • Truly Trash Media posts a look back at the classic Angel Beats – the second anime they saw.  (Though they don’t say when that was.)  It’s a fun read, because Angel Beats was also among the early shows I watched.  After watching it, I told my wife “there might be something to this anime stuff” and we sat down and watched it together.  There’s been few if any other shows that I’ve ever immediately re-watched.  To be fair, that may be for the reason Dawnstorm gave – as one season ends, it’s time for another without much of a break.
  • Frog-Kun at Fantastic Memes reposted an older column of his comparing the LN and anime versions of INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!?.  Though mostly forgettable, it was a fun little show.  There’s one scene in Ep3, a Crowning Moment of Awesome (Warning: TV Tropes link) for Yurika, that I do re-watch now and again.  I just love the look of determination she gets right before her henshin sequence… Wait a moment – I’m a Magical Girl! I’ve got this!
  • Frog-kun also authors a piece at CrunchyrollHanasaku Iroha” – The Good, The Bad, and the Kawaii.  Sakura Quest (whose finale aired today) was marketed as part of a thematic trilogy with 2011’s Hanasaku and 2014’s Shirobako, which makes this article particularly timely.  The article is worth reading, and the anime worth watching.  In some ways, Hanasaku illustrates what Sakura could have been and fell short of.

Speaking of older anime and adaptations (we were discussing the latter last week)…

  • Scott at Mechanical Anime Reviews discusses why he liked the original Kino’s Journey and his concerns over next season’s reboot.
  • Last week’s Worth Reading post had an interesting conversation on adaptations down in the comments (scroll down to read them), they’re worth checking out.  Feel free to add your thoughts.

Adaptations and their issues just keep coming up.  I should probably just create an ‘Adaptation’ tag and be done with it!

Irina at I Drink and Watch Anime posts an interesting piece – Why I keep watching bad anime.  C’mon, it’s something we’ve all done – watched a piece of complete trash coughLove&Liescough right through to the end credits.  I know I have.

Reasons I’ve kept watching a bad anime:  It started good, and I hoped it would return to being good…  (Dimension W)  It’s wasn’t that bad taken as individual episodes or arcs…  (Gangsta)  The pieces were there even though they failed to pull it together in the end…  (Celestial Method)  And of course the infamous “trainwreck you can’t take your eyes off of”…  (Big Order)

Yukinocake at ShinYuu posts on Japanese Breakfasts.  Very different from what I’m used to eating for certain!  (Usually cereal, unless there’s leftover pizza – then pizza.)  I keep meaning to talk more about food & cooking here, it’s one of my favorite topics.

As usual, hit the jump to see the ‘below-the-fold’ material.  Bonsai, my favorite villians/antagonists, and a dream about ani-blogging!

Continue reading “Worth Reading: Links, news, and views. 9/14-9/20”

Summer 2017 – Week 10

Once again working on a weekly post to the dulcet tones of the landscaping crew’s leaf blowers.  Ah, well, at least it’s nice enough to have the windows open.  Even as the Summer anime season draws to a close, so does summer itself.  Likely by the time the Fall season gets underway the Pacific Northwet’s long and cold rainy season will have set in.

680849

Anyhow, pretty much all shows have now aired their tenth and eleventh episodes, so the final cards are hitting the table. So, along with episode reviews and comments I’m going to peer into a murky crystal ball and look at how they’re likely to end.

Let’s hit the jump and get the party started!

Continue reading “Summer 2017 – Week 10”

Worth Reading: Links, views, and news. 9/7-9/13

Welcome to this week’s edition of Worth Reading!   I’m still tinkering with the format, and this week I’m experimenting with adding a bit more editorial comment to the links.  I’ve also changed the series title, but I’m thinking it may be a bit ponderous.  Anyhow, this stuff is worth reading, and after you’re done so drop me a comment with your thought on the new format.

And don’t forget to comment on the links you visit.  Comments and discussion are the lifeblood of our community.  (This is directed at me too…  I’m terrible at commenting.)

  • kViN at the Sakuga Blog posts an interesting collection of artists books (self published books by anime creators) purchased at Comiket 92.
  • At the Anime Corps, Tsuyuki tackles some of the myths and misperceptions of he public at large with regards to anime and the anime fandom community.  He makes a number of well-reasoned arguments and points that I’ll keep in mind next time the topic comes up around me.  I don’t have this problem with my friends though, we’re all weird.  (In high school I was considered the normal(!) one of our group.)
  • Studio Ghibli’s movies were a gateway for many of us I suspect, but they’re rarely touched upon by current anime critics or by current season bloggers.  Are they considered sacred?  Is it that it’s all been done before?  Whatever the reason, I don’t think we should shy away from doing so.  You don’t need to worry about saying something new or original.  Just do your best to express your thoughts and opinions. All that serves as long-winded introduction to Chris’ piece at Peach’s AlmanacKiki’s Delivery Service: Kiki’s Insatiable Drive, a well done look at some of the themes and motifs in this wonderful movie.
  • Also on the topic of Ghibli and Miyazaki, Jonathan at Schoolgirl Milky Crisis posts a thoughtful essay on Ghibli’s current recruiting drive to assemble a new team of animators for Miyazaki’s next film.  (With all the recent attention to how little animators get paid – this one is truly worth reading.)
  • At Jon Spencer Reviews, Jon posts a fun essay comparing and contrasting three of my favorite anime – BarakamonUsagi Drop, and Sweetness and Lightning.  He also talks about the unique things in each anime that made them appealing to him.
  • In the past few weeks, there’s been a great deal of smoke and heat generated over the Netflix adaptation of Death Note.   Karandi at 100 Word Anime weighs in with a thoughtful piece on the challenges that adaptations face and the role preconceived notions of anime fandom play in their reception.(Disclaimer – I have not seen the movie, nor do I intend to.  For that matter, I haven’t seen the original or read the manga.  The premise does not appeal to me.)

Side note: Does anyone know how to get WordPress/html to insert blank lines inside bulleted lists? ‘p’ tags don’t work and br / doesn’t either, and I want breaks inside some entries such as the one above.  I hate it when I can’t do simple graphical layout stuff with HTML.  You can tell it was designed by computer people with no experience at graphic or layout design.  (Not that I’m any expert, but I did learn the basics aeons ago.)

No jump this week as there is no ‘below the fold’ material.  Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to comment!

Will I find love? Anticipating Fall 2017.

Will I find love?  A question often asked of fortune tellers .  A question also asked by anime fans as the old season draws to a close and a new one appears on the horizon.

The chance of finding something wonderful keeps people looking…  At least an AOTS, maybe even an AOTY.  (Though the competition is strong for the latter this year.)  Hope springs eternal and all that.

kale7.0

So, let’s hit the jump and see what series makes my heart beat faster in anticipation this season!

Continue reading “Will I find love? Anticipating Fall 2017.”

Summer 2017 – Week 9

Man, it’s been hard to finish up this entry today… The weather is finally much more clement, but the air is still smokey.  On top of that, the landscaping crew has been hard at work today and their !#@$ leaf blowers always give me a mild headache.

yama_no_susume_2

Anyhow, ’tis done – so hit the jump and let’s run down this week’s shows.  Afterwards, drop me a line in the comments and let us know what you think of this week’s shows.

Continue reading “Summer 2017 – Week 9”

Worth Reading: links and stuff. 8/31-9/6 2017

A new feature for the Lounge!  I’ve sometimes collected these snippets and put them down at the end of the weekly reviews, but they’ve never seemed to fit well there.   So, instead I’m going to collect them in their own weekly post.  Episodic and current anime links will continue to be in the weekly post because that’s where they fit best.

Some weeks there might be less than others, or maybe no posting at all, but so it goes.

A shout out goes to Jon at Jon Spencer Reviews for helping me brainstorm the title.

Worth Reading

  • First up – a link I post with a lump in my throat…  Mage in a Barrel is ending regular posting.  As I’ve said before, Bless was the inspiration for starting this blog and has long been a mainstay of my anime reading, so this is a sad thing indeed.  Though, knowing Bless, he won’t be able to stop posting entirely for any length of time.  But, ya gotta follow your bliss.  Good luck Bless!
  • Over at Shinyuu, Yukinocake posts a wonderful review of the Orange manga.  If you haven’t read the manga or seen the anime, both are available on Crunchyroll and I highly recommend them.  Of the two, I slightly prefer the manga as the anime has some pacing issues.
  • The Weekend Otaku examines the animation quality of the shows he’s following for the Summer 2017 season.  I don’t think he gives Abyss the credit it deserves, but it’s still interesting reading.
  • Lita at Lita Kino Anime Corner posts on the value (or lack thereof) of seasonal hype and balancing that with with your own judgement.  For my part, I try not to be swept up in it…  but I don’t ignore it either.  It’s just one more data point in evaluating whether or not to watch a show.

Hit the jump to see the ‘other stuff’ below the fold!

Continue reading “Worth Reading: links and stuff. 8/31-9/6 2017”

Let’s get ready to start! Some Summer 2017 openings considered and reviewed.

Anime opening sequences serve the same purpose as the introductory blurb you’re reading here…  They get butts in seats, hopefully inform the viewer about the show, and get them interested in watching.  (In some ways, they’re a mini-PV.)  I also talk a little bit about some of the imagery and techniques used in creating opening sequences and how they’re used this season.

So, hit the jump and let’s take a look at the OPs for the shows I watched this season.

J-4 Screenshot (81)

Continue reading “Let’s get ready to start! Some Summer 2017 openings considered and reviewed.”

Summer 2017 – Week 5-8 & midseason review.

Massively late, but here we go with comments and thoughts over the last few weeks as well as mid-season reviews!

Hit the jump, and let’s dive right into it!

Continue reading “Summer 2017 – Week 5-8 & midseason review.”