Berserk (1997) is a Masterpiece

In the past month, I have experienced the events of Kentaro Miura’s Berserk’s most widely-adapted arc, “The Golden Age,” no less than four separate times through three entirely different adaptations of the series. You might ask, “hey Tofu, what the hell?”, to which I would also say, “yeah, I know, what the hell?” When it comes to media consumption, I’m not exactly a person who frequently revisits series that I love, and I don’t really fixate on thinking about them once I have finished them. I’ve watched what might arguably be my favorite anime, Yu Yu Hakusho, in its 112-episode entirety about three times, though each watchthrough was separated by a few years. I’ve done the same for Psycho-Pass, as well – many watches, but it’s a series that I come back to every now and then. For these and some of my other favorite series, I have watched them, loved them, and been satisfied with simply the experience of doing so. But, for some reason, Berserk is different. Ever since watching the 1997 anime adaptation a month ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, and frankly, I doubt I will be able to any time soon.

Let’s just skip the preamble and get to the bottom line – Berserk is a masterpiece, and you owe it to yourself to experience the series for yourself.

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Log Time Podcast | Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun Discussion — Demon Dumb-Dumbs Galore

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun is a bit of a weird pick – weird number of episodes, weird cast of characters, and a lot of weird, questionable directing choices. Somehow, despite all of that, we have come out of watching it…pretty pleased, overall?

In all seriousness, Iruma-kun is a heartwarming school comedy about a bunch of demon dumb-dumbs (and their secretly human protagonist buddy), and coming hot off the heels of White Album 2, this was, overall, a pretty refreshing little break. Hop on in as we talk about cozy, nice protagonists, some delightful goofs, and a surprising amount of “who thought this was a good idea”s.

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

Intro/Outro Music: The Elephant by A Shell in the Pit

This podcast was recorded March 19th, 2021.

In Defense of Hololive: Breaking Down the Standards of Idol Culture

Anyone hanging around the AniSphere recently has probably noticed an uptick in discussions about Virtual YouTubers, AKA v-tubers, and their unavoidable presence on social media platforms. While v-tubers initially became popular in recent years due to the introduction and popularity of the Kizuna A.I. Channel, the COVID-19 pandemic has vastly increased their presence as a topic of discussion, as well as a form of entertainment. Widely known groups such as Hololive and Nijisanji have continued popularizing the idea in Japan and overseas more and more every day, which has resulted in a cultural explosion across many regions of the world.

The idea of v-tubers has mostly been popularized by Hololive’s EN branch but has been popular since the introduction of v-tubers familiar with the English language. Because of these v-tuber talents primarily living in Japan and being backed by Japanese-based agencies, there have been various ways that the companies have decided to market them to different demographics across the globe. Each agency also handles its talents and branches differently by giving their management and talents varying levels of control, but also by having them under policies and conditions, as most businesses do. Of course, there also are a fair share of independent v-tubers that have borrowed ideas from these agencies and use them to create their own platforms, as well. There’s a whole spectrum of things to consider when it comes to being a virtual YouTuber talent in 2021.

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Log Time Podcast | White Album 2 Discussion — “I love White Album 2, but I hate how it made me feel”

Ages ago, Matt added White Album 2 to our pool of randomly-picked shows to watch, and after years of sitting on the list, we finally rolled it. I struggle to say that this was entirely a good thing, because my god, White Album 2 HURTS.

In fact, White Album 2 hurts so much that Matt and Zack end up spending close to an hour talking almost exclusively about the sheer agony of watching it! We aren’t even kidding. If you think you’re ready for White Album 2, then trust us – you’re not. But hey, you can at least swing in here and help us work our way through it! That would be really kind of you.

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

Intro/Outro Music: The Elephant by A Shell in the Pit

This podcast was recorded February 25th, 2021.

Please, Please Don’t Watch Scar on the Praeter (or, Writing a Scathing Review of Ex-Arm Would Have Been So Much Easier)

After five or so years of working on projects as part of The Backloggers, I think I can, with full confidence, say that I’m cursed. When you hear “cursed,” you likely aren’t thinking of it in relation to an anime blog or blogger. Sure, maybe a blogger is reviewing some “cursed” content, or maybe the content being put out by the blog is “cursed,” but that’s all in the fun, jokey, colloquial use of “cursed.” It’s never, you know, the “you got on a witch or demon or whatever’s bad side” bad cursed.

Folks, I mean I am the bad cursed. And it’s all because of fucking Hand Shakers.

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Log Time Seasonal Podcast | Beginning of Winter 2021 — Winter Anime Priority (or, WAP)

Hey folks, there’s a whole dang lot of anime in the Winter 2021 anime season. And I mean a LOT of anime. It’s almost as if the Winter season is consistently and objectively the best anime for seasonal shows, year after year (editor’s note: It is!).

Since we’ve been blessed with another season chock-full of bangers, Zack and Matt have a whole lot to geek out about in this installment. Whether it’s the incredible sequels such as Attack on Titan’s Final Season, Re:Zero Season 2 Part 2, or a whole slew of newcomers like Sk8 the Infinity, Horimiya, and Wonder Egg Priority, we’ve got you covered on all of the must-watch shows of the season. Fortunately, we also have you covered on what you should absolutely *not* be watching (I’m looking at you, Ex-Arm). It’s an absolute smorgasbord of great anime, so hop on in and see what’s up in our fireside chat!

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

Intro/Outro Music: The Elephant by A Shell in the Pit

This podcast was recorded January 28th, 2021.

Log Time Seasonal Podcast | End of Fall 2020 — “It’s Been a Good Year for Anime, I Guess”

The Fall 2020 anime season, and 2020 as a whole, has finally come to an end (to our displeasure and our delight, respectively). As was the case with the beginning of the season podcast, we came to the conclusion that there was STILL too much anime! That said, it was a blessing, and we took some time to chat about the highs and lows of the season, as well as the hits of the whole year.

Kyle was unfortunately not with us for this recording, but that didn’t stop us from slamming this cast full of stuff. Our highlights include gems like Zack cackling over Matt’s trip into the pit of Hypnosis Mic (easily one of the best shows of the year, fight me), coming down from a heavy-ish discussion about Wandering Witch by way of Love Live!, some legitimate (maybe?) hot takes about some of of the hits(?) of the season, and reassessing some of our takes from the beginning of Fall 2020 cast. There’s a bunch to see, and we had a blast with this one, so hop on in!

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

Intro/Outro Music: The Elephant by A Shell in the Pit

This podcast was recorded January 7th, 2021.

The Backloggers 6th Year Anniversary – Step By Step

Wow! It’s not 2020 anymore, and we’re still here! We hope that you’re still here too!

Let’s be honest, it’s been a rough year for all of us due to the various amounts of things going on in the real world, but that doesn’t mean that it was all bad either. We hope that you’ve at least had some good moments that have stuck out in your memory which will hopefully push some of the worst things out of your mind when looking back upon the year.

Unlike the past anniversary posts and in the same spirit as last years (which I will get into more detail about shortly), this one will be brief and condensed, sort of showcasing what will be upcoming throughout the year, celebrating some successes, and throwing out some announcements as well. 

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20 Recommended Shows From 2020

Okay, so here’s the thing: this was initially supposed to be a “Top 10 Anime of 2020” post. I had every intention of doing that, but then someone made a dumb joke about 2020 and 20 anime and I am also dumb, so I resonated with that and ran with it. So here we are now. You have made it to General Tofu’s list of 20 great anime series from 2020 – congratulations!

I was absolutely not about to rank 20 different series, so what I have instead done is that I have organized them by the season that they initially released in. I have also not necessarily organized this as a list of only the absolute best anime – there are definitely shows that I watching this year that I have rated higher score-wise than some shows that appear on this list. I am quite sure that plenty of the shows that did not make the cut for this list have been talked about to death on other end-of-year posts, so y’all probably don’t need to hear about some of them again on this one. Instead, I focused on picking shows that I would readily watch again, because I felt that that would be a more enjoyable list to compile, honestly. The list is pretty beefy already, so for the sake of brevity, let’s get this show on the road!

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Monthly Manga – Ara Naru Mono

Recently, I’ve been on the vtuber train and saw the release of a new Hololive vtuber named Pavolia Reine.  Something in her 2D anime-inspired design was exceedingly familiar but I didn’t quite remember until she revealed the artist who made her look was IIDA Pochi.  This particular mangaka has a specific style that I knew well from her manga series Ara Naru Mono or The Demon Who Became My Sister, and it reminded me that I hadn’t talked about this series before on here.  So why not now?

While Ara Naru Mono is a slice of life, it definitely has an undercurrent that makes it feel much darker.  The series follows Yuu, a 14-year-old boy who grows up orphaned from his parents who passed away while he was young, and being constantly tossed from one relative to the next, as his family despises him as an outsider.  Yuu finally finds himself being taken care of by his unsociable but generally amiable uncle before said uncle mysteriously falls into a coma and is hospitalized.  Upon checking his uncle’s things, Yuu finds a summoning circle and accidentally releases an eldritch demon who grants him a wish in return.  Never knowing a loving family, Yuu wishes for the demon to be his older sister and thus begins their life together.

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