Lady Bird and the Slice of Life Genre in Films

Recently, I had the chance to watch the wonderful film Lady Bird, a movie following fictional Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson as she transitions from her last year in high school into her first steps into college and being an adult.  It’s a beautiful film that balances and explores the natural humor and heartbreak that a lot of us go through during that same time in our lives. The film’s ability to convey the dynamics of Lady Bird’s family and their developing relationships with each other without every directly spelling it out feels so wonderfully natural and refreshing.  It’s that sense of realism to it that I enjoyed, as I watched for all intents and purposes the Hollywood version of a slice of life anime.

There’s no evil villain in this story, no individual kids who bully our protagonist, no quest or soul-searching journey the character goes through, and not even an evil principal that forces almost illegal sentences on high school students a la Breakfast Club.  Just a middle-lower class family trying to get by.  They don’t always love each other but they try as we watch Lady Bird go through her last years in high school and her first few steps into adult life, struggling with her want to be special and unique while finding time and again that reality is a little harsher than that, and her dreams and ambitions are harder to obtain that just wishing for them.  And in the end, they may have been what she wanted, but the naive singular pursuit of them left her missing what she needed. The film doesn’t end with our protagonist learning the error of her ways and dramatically changing everything. It just… ends. Because that’s how life is. Sometimes we only learn the lesson after the fact, and whether we learned or not, life keeps going regardless.  We were only privy as an audience to just a slice of that life.

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May 2018 Monthly Content Round-up

Hey, Mythos here.  May kinda came and went for me way too fast.  I’m still balancing multiple things in my life, which unfortunately also hit a couple of us here at The Backloggers at the same time so I want to apologize for the lack of content recently.  We’re gonna try and push through this, most likely becoming master jugglers by the end of it, joining the circus, and amazing all with our incredibly skill and dexterity… Or we could just write a few articles.  That works too.

Anyways, in the meantime, other people have been going full ham and we wanna share some of that good, good stuff out there with you.  Definitely gives these a look ‘cause we got some hot takes here, and they’re comin’ atcha fast!

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Genre is Fake (But Very Useful)

An absolutely important read. Please give it a look over on The Afictionado’s site.

The Afictionado

"You're all just jealous of my jet pack" Credit to Tom Gauld

Every text I’ve read that has anything to do with genre study dedicates at least a few paragraphs to the disclaimer that genre is slippery, arbitrary, and, while a useful tool for analysis, kind of a pain in the ass. This pain is only made worse if we take this system of categories to be Holy Doctrine rather than something we made up to make talking about stories easier. So, okay, maybe genre isn’t fake. When I say genre is “made up” I mean genre is “socially constructed”, rather than “not real”. Here, Brian Attebery says it better:

Both literary studies and folklore are built on the idea of genres, rather as biology is built on categories, from kingdom to species, reflecting morphological similarity and common descent. However, unlike, say, raptors and perching birds, different genres do not exist until someone imagines them.

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3D Kanojo 3 + 4 – Love, Insecurity, and Other Such Things

3D Kanojo got off to a fascinating start in the first two episodes, giving us some perspective and a view into our awkward, complicated romantic leads Tsutsui and Igarashi. It was a pretty solid foundation, in my opinion, to base the rest of the show off of, and episodes 3 and 4 have both proved to have not dropped the bar of quality that has been set for the show thus far. While the first two episodes acted as a primer of sorts, episodes three and four focus quite heavily on the ways in which insecurities can develop on all sides of a new, burgeoning romance, how they can complicate issues between partners, and ultimately how people can respond to those issues in healthy, trusting ways.

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3D Kanojo 1 + 2 – Brick by Brick

3D Kanojo, on the surface, isn’t exactly a show we haven’t seen before. At first glance, it appears to follow the archetypical show/book/etc. formula of “nerdy boy finds love through beautiful girl”, a trope which, obviously, is fairly problematic. But there is far more to this show going on below the surface. From these first two episodes, we find that, in fact, it has so far come to us as a show about harmful misconceptions, and how looking beyond them can lead to genuine, satisfying relationships. While there’s a lot that we could focus on for a discussion of this show, I want us to look specifically at our main characters, Hikari Tsutsui and Iroha Igarashi, and the fascinating, complex spaces that they inhabit.

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Log Time General Podcast #14 | Beginning of Spring 2018 — We Never Fall in Love (with Spring Anime)

This week on the Log Time Podcast, we combat the veritable wasteland that is the Spring 2018 anime season. We discuss a few solid shows that knocked (or boxed) our socks off, a solid smattering of “meh”-worthy works, and contend with the general sense of anime ennui that comes from having a season try to follow up the Winter 2018 season. Also, Kyle dies. He will be missed until the next podcast.

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

This podcast was recorded on April 27th, 2018.

April 2018 Monthly Content Round-up

Another month of anime has passed which means it’s time for a whole bunch of articles talking about all dat sweet, sweet animation goodness.  Interestingly, it hasn’t all been about this current season, with a wide spread of really great stuff about classics as well as seasons past. Some good stuff here on top of the already active discussions on the current season and all the new anime coming out.  It’s a fun time to be an anime fan, really. Even if we argue over the specifics, it’s great to see so many different opinions all wanting to celebrate a really great and interesting medium. Let’s dive into some of ‘em!

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