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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

Awesome – Eclipse 2017

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Just got back from watching the eclipse over where my wife works.  (That way we only had to buy one viewing setup.)  It was, frankly, an awesome experience.  By that I mean the original meaning of the word – “extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear”.  (Not the common meaning where it’s an all-purpose expression of praise and enthusiasm.)

At first, though it was cool to look at (through proper glasses), but it didn’t seem to be much…  But as totality approached, even though it wasn’t full totality here, the light grew very noticeably dimmer and the air distinctly chilly.  The light was also of a very odd quality, not the same at all as when the light grows dim at dawn or sunset.  As a photographer, it was very noticeable…  Even the friend who was watching with us noted how spooky it was.  It was very easy to see how people of pre-scientific times would be deeply affected.. The world just doesn’t normally change so fast and then spring right back to its former shape as though nothing had happened.

And speaking of friends, this was different from most any other event in my life…  It happened in slow motion (over the span of roughly two hours), and so there was time to share the experience over social media.  It was… fascinating to read the reactions of friends and family scattered across the country in real-time.  And that’s setting aside all the preparations of the last few days and weeks as people bought the required safety gear and set out to travel to see the event.

All in all, I can’t say I experienced some kind of epiphany…  but I can’t say the experience left me untouched either.  I just can’t clearly express how.  Maybe it’s that part of my brain deep beneath the civilized and educated layers reacting.  I just don’t know, but felt I had to share.

More mundanely, I caught a number of interesting images such as this one – where the gaps between leaves were acting as little pinholes and projecting an image of the eclipse on the pavement:

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It’ll take some post processing work to see if I can make anything of them, but I still found it fascinating.

Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to read this and feel free to share your experiences and thoughts down in comments.

Now, back to the mundane rounds of daily life – errands, housework, and fighting with my now massively overdue Week 5/6 + Midseason Review post.  (Three quarters done, having some writer’s block problems on a couple of shows.)

The Curiosity Poll – results!

This all started with a simple question I asked on my Twitter:

With such a small number of responses the results were hardly definitive, But there was something of a clear trend.  Reader Dawnstorm tells me that the results may just be random, I’ll take his word for it. That lead me to post the same poll here at the Lounge last week.

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I half expected the trend to continue…  But I didn’t expect this:

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Even though it’s still a small number of respondents (14, and thus still suspect), the trend is even more clear.  Readers like a blog that at least contains some things other than anime.  This never was a referendum on the future of the Lounge, but it’s nice to see what I’ve been doing is liked.  (On the other hand, since the poll was of my readers there’s no doubt a bit of bias and self selection going on…)

Thanks to those who took part!  Drop a line down in the comments and tell me what you think!

Delay of post – one week penalty!

For various reasons…  (the heat, a busy week, downloading the latest version of Kerbal Space Program) I didn’t get last week’s post finished on time.  Rather than push it out incomplete, I’m just going to keep plugging away and work on a double entry for this week (the 18th).

There almost certainly won’t be an entry for the following week (weekly post would normally be on the 25th) as that’s the week of the County Fair… And I’ll be working the Fair the 23rd-27th.

Other than The Reflection, I am caught up, so if you have any comments on the week feel free!