February 2018 Monthly Content Round-up

The season of love has come and gone but if you need a little more or just a distraction from the constant Valentine’s memes, here’s some sweet articles to keep ya.  They’re not exactly hand-made, but they were hand-picked in order to give a taste of some high quality content of the month!  This is our gift to you guys and I hope to see some awesome White Day gifts of awesome content in return this coming month!  Here’s to another great month of anime and a very good community for it.  Now, how ‘bout we open this gift up?

Mythos’ Picks

Identity Genderless and Buddhist Transcendence in Land of the Lustrous – ZeroReq011

ZeroReq takes the time to absolutely school on Buddhism history and imagery, showing what seems to be a damning causal link between the genderless ideas on transcendence and the characters in Land of the Lustrous.  This article is fascinating and goes into a lot of amazing detail about a variety of Buddhism’s teachings I would love to know more about now.  Absolutely recommend this one, especially if you’re a fan of LanLus and/or religious history.

Scattered Thoughts – Koi wa Ameagari no You ni and Rashomon – Aldael

I recently came across Aldael and and was absolutely impressed by this article.  Here, Aldeal shows the direct and intentional connections between After the Rain and the short story Rashomon.  He goes over the allusions to the short story in the show as well as the use of the themes of the earlier work as a means to explain the inner thoughts and ideas of each character.  It’s one of those clever situations where if the viewer has read the work being referenced, they immediately know exactly what is going on with each character and how things might play out that would otherwise surprise the audience.  As someone who’s only seen the film Rashomon (which only takes the setting and characters but places them in another short story called In a Grove), this was such an interesting read and really made me want to buy several books on classic Japanese literature to see what all I’m missing out on.

DEBUNKING the Top 5 Yuri Misconceptions – Zeria

I’m a very new supporter of Zeria but from what I’ve watched so far, I love this channel.  In this video, Zeria goes over five misconceptions about the Yuri genre.  The points brought up are fantastic as well as detailed and backed up, while still feeling fun and informative.  It was nice to see comments on older misconceptions about this genre but also what seems like newer ones that have reared their head and needed to be addressed.  Definitely give this one a look.

GeneralTofu’s Picks

Laid-Back Camp, a (Happy) Story of Solitude – The Afictionado

To put things lightly, there’s a lot that I deeply enjoy about Yuru Camp. Even this far into the season, it has stayed as my favorite show I am currently following, largely for being about the comfiest show on the market, for having a very keen sense of what it wants to do, and for doing it well. The Afictionado highlights one of the most surprising elements of the show, however, in her discussion of the show’s handling of Rin’s solo camping in relation to Nadeshiko and the rest of the gang, as well as in relation to the idea of “club group activity” anime as a whole. The solitary character as a positive thing is a concept that is often completely overlooked in many club-related shows, but as the Afictionado discusses in this piece, Yuru Camp goes to lengths to showcase how enjoying what you love on one’s own can be a magical thing, and how it’s okay to just do things at your own speed.

Atsuko Ishizuka’s clever use of social media in A Place Further Than the Universe – Atlier Emily

Atelier Emily has a fascinating piece about A Place Further Than the Universe’s thematic and design-based uses of social media in the show, specifically talking about the use of Instagram as a driving force behind Shiraishi’s campaign’s popularity. The slowly increasing integrated use of social media in anime in recent years has been fascinating in and of itself, and this particular piece gives us a good view of how this more aesthetic use of social media in the show helps to set expectations for us before each episode, bolster some more thematic character elements, and give an overall more “real” sense of things and the characters within the show.

Growing Up With FLCL – Bobduh

Bobduh’s piece on Fooly Cooly is a doozy, and after having watched the show years ago, reading it was in many ways both a solid shot of nostalgia and a genuinely fascinating retrospective. Whether or not you have seen FLCL (and if you haven’t, you really, really should), this particular piece takes a very deep dive into the show, giving us a good retrospective on the thematic and character elements of the show that made it such a phenomenon back in the day (and still now, to be honest). Going on about the piece itself at length would honestly just become a poor summary, so do yourself a favor, drop what you’re doing, and give this one a read.

Owningmatt93’s Picks

Love Live Sunshine: Community and Found Radiance – Subtitled Anime

While I’ve spoken about the Love Live! franchise before, Love Live! Sunshine!! does something that the original does not do, which is places great emphasis on its characters within the story. Subtitled Anime has a great video that displays this in a touching manner, showcasing how these characters really value the concept of community within their story and how important it is to them and their success in performing. This is what drives all the characters’ growth within the show, and this video absolutely is a must-watch for anyone that’s a fan of character-driven narratives or the Love Live! series.

Smartphones and Social Media Positivity in Anime – Elisabeth O’Neill (LittleAnimeBlog)

Related to one of Tofu’s picks above, smartphones and social media are becoming increasingly more prevalent in anime, especially in some of the more popular shows in the recent seasons. We’re seeing a lot more shows like Tsuki ga Kirei, Just Because!, and Yuru Camp use these sorts of technologies, and this article just emphasizes how this can enhance our understanding of characters and how they behave within these shows. While the show in this article is using A Place Further than the Universe as an example, which is equally as good of a choice as the ones above, I think that in general, using social media and smartphones in anime as a narrative tool can make shows dig a little deeper into these characters and how they interact with others when not in direct contact with them. I also just think it makes it easier to relate to characters and stories because of the heavy use of social media and smartphones, and I think this article by Elisabeth really nails how important a small change to a narrative tool can impact a story.

Shirobako, of old and new – Thoughts That Move

While Shirobako may have aired a few years back, that doesn’t mean that we can’t apply some of its concepts and ideas to some of the situations and ideas that animation studios are following today. Tim’s article from Thoughts that Move really puts the show into a new perspective about how a major part of it is about not only pursuing one’s dreams, but also using valuable experience from those around us, whether that be from veterans or from newbies, to really drive a creative medium or project forward, something which I never really thought about while watching the show. The specific example from this article about how Kemono Friends was a success in a similar way really shows how passion, along with experience from others, can really make a project successful. It really is something we as content creators should keep in mind as well, as we continue along our creative journeys as well. Thanks Tim!

We hope you enjoyed this month’s selections from some of the fantastic content creators above. As always, if you think you’ve found a post interesting and you think we might’ve missed it, please link it down below. Don’t hesitate to showcase your own work either! We’re always looking for interesting content, so any sort of contribution is appreciated, whether that’s a link to a work, commenting on the articles we’ve selected, or sharing your thoughts with us.

Thanks for reading, and we hope that you enjoy the content we have in store over the coming months as well!

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