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!
By Camera, a World: Inhabiting Hyouka – Mage in a Barrel (iblessall)
Hyouka is a fantastic show and one of KyoAni’s greatest, in my opinion. It takes the wonderful writing and animation that we’ve come to know from them and then adds beautiful post-effects and cinematography as well as an attention to subtle motions and visual language to tell the audience a million things at once without needing a script. I’m still amazed at all of this. In this article, iblessall details out how Hyouka takes a mundane anime setting but elevates it to such a point that we feel as if we the audience exist in its space, all purely through its insanely good cinematography. Some really good stuff. Definitely check it out and, if you get the chance, check out the episodic posts iblessall did as well. Lotta in-depth detail about what’s being talked about broadly in this piece.
Hinamatsuri’s Comedic Timing is So Snappy It’ll Break Your Neck – Nick Creamer (Wrong Every Time
I’ve written before about my love for Looney Tunes and its impact and brand of comedy, with the basis of many of the jokes being the basis of pretty much all of comedy: a set up has the audience expect something and then the punchline is something entirely different. Nick Creamer wrote for Crunchyroll on how Hinamatsuri from this season knows its comedy basics so dang well, that even if it’s a joke as old as slapstick, you can still laugh purely on how its able to tell it and how freaking perfectly timed it is. Definitely give this a read and go watch the show! The show’s great!
I personally was a little sad that Citrus was adapted this past season. It has nothing to do with its quality, as everything I’ve seen (haven’t finished it) is very well done. It also makes sense, as the manga was very popular and with a lot going on in its romance, it’s kind of a no-brainer that it eventually would get adapted. That said, rather than a problematic yuri anime getting adapted and then advertised by Crunchyroll out the wazoo, I would have preferred a more positive and genuinely happy yuri romance get the spotlight instead. I’ve read the manga and I realize that the story seems to be getting there eventually but I knew it wouldn’t within 12 episodes of an anime. Any decent representation could be seen as a positive but I would love for positive and genuinely good relationship representations to get the kinda buzz that Citrus did, like one of my favorites Asagao to Kase-san that releases later this season, though sadly as an OVA and not a full show.
As I was a little sad, I went on a spree to find really great yuri that could be adapted and came across another video from Zeria about this very topic. It’s a fantastic look at what are some great yuri for people just getting into the genre as well as anyone that wants to read a few they may not have seen. I definitely recommend this and if you’re a bit busy for the full video, Zeria also posted the script on a blog post if you prefer reading or skimming through to pick some that sound interesting.
Isekai Izakaya is Cool Japan Propaganda – Frog-kun
Watching Isekai Izakaya this season has been an odd experience. Given what I had seen of PVs, synopses, and cursory looks at the source material, the show seemed to be very much in my wheelhouse, as I had adored Isekai Shokudo several seasons ago. But so much about the show – the constant presence of the show’s logo and episode title on-screen, the subtitles and sound effects appearing as though we’re watching a Japanese variety show – just felt wrong. Frog-kun has a short piece here that echoes these sentiments exactly, and gives a great deal of context for why the show feels so bizarre, specifically in reference to its status as a Japanese-government-sponsored show. With both that and Frog-kun’s own anecdotes about having visited a few izakaya, it makes for a genuinely fascinating read, and one that helps the weirdness of this show go down a bit easier.
ZeroReq has an interesting piece this month regarding issues of romanticizing depictions of war within media, specifically through the lens of Violet Evergarden. Within the piece, ZeroReq makes a fairly concerted effort to argue that, ultimately, VEG is an anti-war show, and this is a premise that I can wholeheartedly agree with. The show makes strides to show the horrors of war, what effect that going through such horrors can wreak upon a person, and numerous other aspects of war and the rippling consequences that it has. Though it is an interesting piece, and I can agree with this central tenet that the show is decidedly anti-war, I do take issue with an early assertion that “However critical a war film’s themes happen to be about conflict of war, if the anti-war movie in question features some violent spectacle, the anti-war messaging is undermined out-of-hand.” I understand that there are certainly scenes shown within VEG that depict a young Violet effortlessly dispatching her foes, but I do not believe that simply showing scenes of violence in this way undermine the anti-war/violence sentiment of the show.
Some of these scenes of combat and violence are fairly well-choreographed, but simply because they are as such does not mean that they are a joy to watch – that will come from each different viewer. From my personal standpoint, watching a young Violet slaughter a pair of soldiers without so much as blinking was horrifying to me, not a kickass spectacle, whereas some other viewers may find that scene to be the pinnacle of excitement. I realize, of course, that there is certainly more to the argument of the piece as a whole, but this core, central assertion took me a bit off-guard. That being said, the piece in and of itself is still a fascinating read.
Welcome to the Anniversary Week: 100 Word Anime Turns 2 – 100 Word Anime (Karandi)
To wrap my selections up, 100 Word Anime has turned two this year, and Karandi has put up a celebratory blog post to highlight her efforts in getting this far. It’s genuinely interesting, examining post release schedules, shoutouts to those that have helped along the way, and a pretty solid list of professional goals for the blog itself. Critical examination posts are great, but sometimes I think it’s just nice to highlight successes like this. Congrats, Karandi!
Stepping Back Into the Steins;Gate Time Machine – Atelier Emily (Emily Rand)
I always find it extremely fascinating when someone has an article that integrates their personal experiences with a topic, and this Steins;Gate piece by Emily is no different. Over time, we all have certain shows that sort of fade from our memories and we change our opinions on, and it seems that the new Steins;Gate also plays with that idea in its narrative, changing it up from the original series in terms of setting and character. The entire piece that Emily writes on Steins;Gate perfectly weaves a story that combines personal experiences with how the narrative of Steins;Gate 0 comes across as after time has passed, which adds an additional layer of analysis and meaning to the story. Personal analyses of series like this are hard to find, and being able to put them into words can be even harder sometimes.
Through these sorts of posts is when we learn the most about our tastes in media and how we’ve developed and changed those tastes over time and also allows us to explore the work and the author’s relationship to that work clearly. Not to mention this post absolutely captures all of the nuances of the original Steins;Gate compared to the new series, and puts all of these personal experiences with the original show into perspective, making for a very engaging read (also props on the absolutely perfect title!).
[Discourse] A Wedding Gown for “Their” Idol: Love Live, male audiences, and idol culture – AnimeFeminist (ZeroReq011)
I’ve already discussed my thoughts about this article plenty on Twitter, but I think this article deserves another shout-out nonetheless. While I am a fan of the series, it’s obvious that the show isn’t perfect in many regards, especially in some instances of how the series idolizes the idea and concept of idols, when that’s clearly a problematic aspect of idol culture in Japan. ZeroReq discusses how the show relates to those aspects and how it still feeds into some of the trappings of the idol fanbase and culture surrounding it, in addition to glorifying the position of being an idol when it’s anything but glorious in reality, a problem which many idol shows tend to not address or avoid. It’s a good article that covers all the bases on the matter, and I think it’s a great introductory piece of the subject for newcomers to the community and the “idol genre” as a whole.
In Defense of Light Novel Adaptations – Lethargic Ramblings
Light novel adaptations have been one of the most highly debated things of the decade and have caused so many related questions within the community about the “quality” of anime and these works as a whole. It’s not necessarily an unpopular opinion to oppose all light novel adaptations (or at least most of them) in some capacity, feeling they’re unoriginal or stuck in a genre rut for years at a time. While I think aspects of this statement can be true, there’s plenty of depth to that conversation on the whole, and I personally side with Lethargic Ramblings in that light novel adaptations… aren’t always bad. You’ll have your bad apples, of course, but it’s a dangerous way of thinking to think negatively or disregard an entire realm of media solely because of how it’s published or because it’s classified by certain genre elements.
This article pretty much addresses this mindset in a very clear and direct way and is a perfect read for someone that might be skeptical of light novel anime adaptations. Give it a read, and keep the article in mind as new light novel adaptations are released and discussed; you may surprise yourself on what series you might find yourself enjoying next.
As per the usual, we had a pretty interesting spread of content to work with this month. It’s exciting to see people getting engaged with new shows from the current season, but it’s nice to go back and revisit works from a season ago, or perhaps a year ago. Regardless, we’re always thrilled to see what y’all have to offer, and for us to be able to create a dialogue within our community.
Thanks as always to our solid community of viewers and writers who always seem to have some new, interesting stuff to say. Here’s hoping that, in the coming months, we get some rock-solid discussion coming out of the middle of the Spring 2018 season!
As always, if you think your piece was interesting and we didn’t manage to see it, then link it below in the comments or reply to us on Twitter! We can’t promote what we don’t know about, so feel free to plug your own content as well.