Violet Evergarden 3+4 – Learning Empathy

Episodes one and two were a great introduction to this series and definitely laid the groundwork for what is to come. However, this show very early explained to the audience that it was going to be a slow build and we see that build executed well in episodes three and four as we take a bit of a detour from the posts’ offices and crew to build on our individual characters.

As we left off, Violet is learning to be a better auto memory doll and as such, she is enrolled in a doll training course with several others students. Very early on, we see her excel in her technical skills but as we’ve seen in the previous episodes, when it comes to the basis of the job, understanding and effectively conveying the clients’ emotions, Violet crashes and burns. It’s not until a fellow classmate, Luculia, reaches out and works with her, that we see her progress and beautifully, as they work together, we see both this Luculia and Violet understand each other as well as their own emotions better, eventually leading to Violet successfully writing a short but emotionally effective letter from Luculia to her brother.

This episode and the soon to be talked about episode four seem to share the theme of developing empathy and understanding, from characters within the show, but more importantly, the show seems to also be asking the same from us the audience to the issues certain characters face. This brings up a main point I wanted to talk about, here that I think is important in understanding our main character and the issues she struggles with. That it appears Violet may be autistic.

This wasn’t my idea originally as I watched through episodes one and two. To be completely honest, I’m not exactly well qualified to talk about this as I’m horribly ignorant on this particular mental condition. However, what I’ve learned through others that have more authority on this, I find the fact that Violet Evergarden seems to be tackling this mental condition, or at the very least a similar situation, fascinating. While I originally thought this was an interesting theory when viewing episode three, episode four seems to solidify that this is exactly what the show is doing and, personally, that seems wonderful to me.

[HorribleSubs] Violet Evergarden - 03 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_14.56_[2018.02.06_00.29.18]

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Just Because! Episodes 11 + 12 – The Pitch and The Home Run

Quick note for any Just Because! viewers outside of America:  Lucky for you, HiDive got ahold of this one because still at the point of this writing, Amazon has not translated the signs and text for this show along with the official subs.  So if you’re watching this show, might want to head over to HiDive for those translated signs on the last episode given the incredibly important use of text messaging in this show.  Us Americans will just be over here crying and raising a defiant fist against our Amazon overlords who will still not turn over the full rights to HiDive.

Well here we are, the end is near, we face the final curtain, and my friends, I’ll say it clear.  I’ll state my case of which I’m certain…  This was such a good anime.  Since the first episode, I’ve been impressed with this show and I’m so happy that Just Because! never let me down.  Of the shows that we’ve written about thus far as a group on this site, this one was probably my favorite to watch.  And now we’re at the end.  I guess if the previous episodes were the wind up, this would be the pitch… and then the aftermath.  Though, to be less haughty for a sec, it’d probably be better just to call this the exam arc ‘cause hot damn is there a lot riding on these college entrance tests.

We initially pick up from where episode ten leaves off, with Komiya readmitting her feelings.  However, we see that she tells Izumi not to give her an answer until he passes his test, stating it with the assurance that he will.  He promises her he will with the same earnest and serious face I’ve come to love on this deadpan boy.

[HorribleSubs] Just Because! - 11 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_00.56_[2018.01.18_03.31.12]

Hmm, yes, the “I’m very tired but I appreciate you as a person” look.  Vintage.

The next day, Izumi fills in Souma about what’s going on with him and his exams while Souma in turn explains his relationship with Morikawa and his plans for the future.  The standout moment here, however has to be when Izumi tells Souma to stay in touch with Morikawa, as it’ll get harder to message her if he waits too long.  It’s thrown out so nonchalant but the meaning is easily picked up by Souma as Izumi alluding to how they fell out of touch, bringing us back to the beginning of the series and the lost friendship they thankfully were able to rekindle.  It’s a nice touch to one of the last major bonding moments these two have with each other as we head towards the end.  With a promise to stay in touch with Morikawa that also seems to be an affirmation to be there for Izumi as well, Souma then throws it back to Izumi, telling him to stay in touch with Natsume to which Izumi promises Souma that he’ll tell her everything when he passes his test.  A lot riding on these exams, huh?

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Sunstone – Love, humor, and heart hidden in a BDSM story

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve had to do this but forewarning, the content in question is Not Safe For Work.  Before that scares you off, though, this graphic novel is sold in the normal kind of stores and has a beautiful point for it’s use of sexual imagery.  Also, while this topic may not exactly be anime related, the author of this work in question is a super nerd and takes obvious influences from Japanese media. Plus, it’s my own damn article and I just wanna write about this, okay?

Sorry, that got a little confrontational…  Lemme just start.

Sex is often a very taboo topic, particularly when it comes to where I live here in America.  We’ve become more accustomed to talking about violence and aggression than all that other stuff that gives you cooties.  Basically, you can watch people die horrifically and it’ll get a PG-13 rating but if two girls kiss “OH NO!  Grab the pitchforks ‘cause it’s time fer a burnin’!”

With a bit of a flipped morality like that, it can be hard to find well-written stories that approach the topic of sex with the right respect and openness that it deserves.  Honestly, it seems to me that it’s sometimes easier to find a story that uses rape as a means of moving the plot forward than one that uses consensual intercourse.  And while there are efforts to educate and make things better.  Education is only one side of the coin.  We also need it represented tastefully in our media to expose and normalize the topic along with all the other aspects and types of affection and love.

Enter my exhibit A for the court hearing on tasteful representation of sex: the graphic novel Sunstone.

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Just Because! Episodes 3 + 4 – Writing Between the Lines

Author’s Note: Apologies for the lateness of this post.  I’m sure most people have already moved onto to episode five by now of this fantastic show but I was held up with personal issues that couldn’t be helped. To make up for it, I tried to put a lot of effort into this so I hope you all enjoy.  Also, spoilers and such as some stuff goes down in episode four.

Episodes three and four of Just Because! ended up continuing to validate my immediate love for this show.  While the drama and plot aren’t crazy or off the wall, the natural dialogue and slower pace allow me to appreciate all that’s happening for our crew of seniors trudging towards their graduation and murky futures.  Every scene and interaction is chock full of a surprising amount of engagement for a show that relies heavily on realistic drama and humor.  Plus, these characters are just so dang lovable, even when their hearts are breaking from all the pain they give each other.

[HorribleSubs] Just Because! - 04 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_03.16_[2017.11.05_21.38.27]

You know it’s a sad scene when even the dog is frowning.

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Blogwarming Party!

This is a super awesome idea.  Check out this post and help out, if you can!

I drink and watch anime

You guys remember when I use to pretend to review anime? Yeah, me either… 

Boys and girls, I need your help. I’ve been kicking around this idea for a project for some time now and I want your input.

Back when I started this little blog, in the olden days of last July, I was pretty lost in this brave new blogging world. I really would have appreciated some type of kiddie pool to get my toes wet before jumping in. I know now that you’re clearly all the bestest and undisputed sweethearts but at the time, it was a little scary.

Furthermore, I am lucky enough to have some free time and debatable priorities so I get the chance to read a lot of your posts and discover all sorts of new blogs. This is a privilege that precious few have and I’m sure we all end up missing…

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Princess Principal Episode 10 – Reunions and Revelations

As far as case numbers go, chronologically, this is the farthest forward we’ve gone yet, at Case 22.  It definitely was intentional to save this one for almost next to last as episode ten is the tipping point to what will most likely be an freaking epic conclusion to the series.  However, before I jump the gun to some real big shit (like the biggest of cliffhangers yet for this show) we’ve got an episode with a possible double agent, plenty of intrigue, and a character from both Ange and Dorothy’s past.

Time to send in the RSVPs ‘cause it’s gosh dang class reunion.

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 10 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_05.36_[2017.09.19_00.40.52]

Reunions are fun, aren’t they?

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Princess Principal Episode 7 – We Can Do It!

Another episode, another reason to like this show.  I have no idea how they’ll tie some of the threads between these different cases together as we’re now working our way towards the ending, but I’m enjoying the ride nonetheless.

While definitely a departure from the emotionally charged last episode, this one is just as good in what it attempts to do.  Going from sadness to peppy optimism this episode, our group of spy girls attempt to stop a nerve gas assassin by going undercover in a laundry mill, blending in with the other poor girls who are tasked with washing the military’s uniforms.  I have to say, every scene in this episode exudes the feelings and ideas of Rosie the Riveter, women working hard together and accomplishing great things by their own hands and effort, and the wonderful ways in which our main characters help these girls in the mill succeed and even buy out their own business to run it themselves was fantastic.  The ending then nicely tied the bow by the cast commenting on how they’ve left their friends in the mill empowered and able to take care of themselves now.  This is a great idea to see expressed in this show and Princess Principal never seems to drop the ball in representing some kickass female characters.

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She is adorable but believe me.  She is insanely kickass.

 

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