Worth Reading – 11/10/2017

Welcome to a much belated but still very much worth reading!  Frankly, at least in the short-term, if it’s worth reading it ages well.

Both older shows and adaptations are ongoing themes here at Worth Reading, and this week we have a veritable feast on offer.

  • First up, we have a show that manages to be both – an older show, and an adaptation: over at Anime B&B, Marina reviews Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199.

This is very timely and very important…  because at long last, Yamato 2199 is available as legal stream!  Funimation is now streaming a dub, and Crunchyroll is now streaming the sub.  Previously it was only legally available as a VERY expensive boxed set.

What is Yamato 2199 and why is it so important?  It’s a reboot of the famed 1974 classic Uchuu Senkan Yamato, a seminal show in anime history.  It was the first serial anime aimed at adults, and helped pave the way in Japan for anime as we know it today.  Over on this side of the pond, it’s dubbed adaptation as Star Blazers helped ignite the passions of the first generations of American otaku.

Forty years on, I can still remember rushing home after school to catch the latest episode…  Hurry Star Force, hurry – or the Earth with die.  For a young nerd in the midst of the long SF drought of the late 1970’s, those words were magical.

Anyhow, I strongly urge you to at least check out the first few episodes.  It’s a crackin’ good adaptation and very good show in its own right.  If you like space opera or sci-fi, it should be right up your alley.

  • Ayron at Reading Between has been doing episodic reviews of Shirobako.  He’s got some very keen insights on the show, and they’re worth checking out.  He’s also one of the few ani-bloggers and/or Shirobako watchers that I haven’t seen openly advocating tying Tarō to an anchor and dropping him in the middle of Tokyo Bay.
  • The Pantless Anime Blogger has two interesting posts…  One, a collection of his top moments of 2014, and another with reviews of shows in his recently completed Summer 2014 lineup.

2014 was my first year of watching current season streaming anime… Both posts tug at my nostalgic heartstrings.  With Winter 2018 fast approaching, I have my own retrospective project in the works, looking back four years each quarter.

Her’s is a story I’ve heard many times before, different in details but “normal” in the broad brushstrokes.  I got lucky.  I leapt from 70’s fandom, which was something you stumbled upon if you were very lucky…  to 00’s fandom where the ‘net and Google serve up a veritable waterfall.  Someday I should write about that early era…  shakes cane in the general direction of the kids on his lawn…  Which I should be careful doing, though I’ve been around various fandoms for a long time, I’m a relative newb in terms of anime fandom.

  • Scott at Mech Anime Reviews tackles fandom by categorizing the weaknesses of different types of anime watchers -breaking down different types and how they relate to the community at large.  And reminding us that we should watch non-seasonal stuff too…  there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s important for various reasons even if it isn’t current.

Reading his listing of genre shows, something interesting occurred to me… Whenever people list off recent shows in the isekai genre, Overlord is always noticeable by its absence.  I wonder why that is?  Is it because the protagonist’s form is so inhuman or that over the course of the show he gradually loses his humanity and submerges himself into his character?  Is it because he so willingly abandons the real world (where he’s a salaryman) in favor of the fantasy world (where he’s very much living out a power fantasy)?   Overlord veers sharply away from the assumptions and tropes common to the genre.  Of course, it’s always possible that it simply didn’t make that big an impression on English language fandom…  But it is getting a second season.

Personally, it’s been a blast seeing the classics on the big screen.

And there you have it – this weeks Worth Reading with a healthy serving of random editorial comment by yours truly.  What do think?  Drop a comment below and let’s talk!

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!

Anime News Miscellany – 3/30/17

Three (anime related) things that happened yesterday and which I wrote up brief commentary on while not working on my season summary.  Fortunately, Maid Dragon is stretching into next week so I can justify giving myself a few more days to work on it.

After the jump, Ghibli, Gundam, and Amazon…

Nausicaa

Continue reading “Anime News Miscellany – 3/30/17”