Some of my favorite stories involve elements of what made classic fables so enthralling to me. Some aspects are easy to see, like the fantasy setting, but I also enjoy the darker world that’s mixed with a child-like innocence which tinges each story, allowing us to take in the horror aspects a little easier. Fairies and other creatures of myth are no joke, and the original stories attest to how devious they can be. However, we always see their pranks rather than their murderous rampages when we read those stories of old. Fables historically were made to teach a lesson and help to educate children on the dangers of life. So the palatability of a darker world that we only catch a glimpse of has always intrigued me.
Shadow House is very much a story like this. The story follows Emilyko, a “living doll” in a very dark and mysterious mansion, who serves Kate, a member of the Shadow Family, who owns the property. Emilyko spends most of her time taking care of Kate but also ponders on the behavior of the Shadows. The Shadows are creatures seemingly made up of some dark material that creates soot, as everything they touch is dirtied with it, along with their negative emotions causing them to release a black smoke that can cover the room in the same material. Added to this is the odd behavior that they have some physical control over the soot they produce and leave behind.
Planet With is a trip – alien animals that eat people to become mechs, a maid princess, dragons, super sentai warriors, and all sorts of other wild stuff that ends up meshing together surprisingly nicely. Join us as we talk about some of the show’s finer points, like the evolution of love, the show’s consistent emphasis of kindness over violence, and how the show manages to make a bunch of seemingly different details all work beautifully together.
To intercept any potential issues about it – no, the Winter 2020 season is not bad. We say every time that we’re surprised with how good the Winter season is, but no more! Winter seasons are pretty much always good, and this one is no exception.
We have a lot to offer this time around: we discuss the totally real Room Camp/Magia Record collab with TripAdvisor, we introduce Eizouken as “the anime that doesn’t have anything to do with stabbing”, we get really real with Kyle’s fear of mind control and the hilarious amount of shows that dip into it this season, Zack gets one last verbal rant about Babylon, and among all that weirdness, we have a lot of really solid recommendations for y’all! Get in while the getting’s good!
“Everyone, have you heard of the trolley problem?”
Over the last few years, I recall numerous times seeing folks on Twitter crying for politics, social issues, and “SJW”s to be kept out of anime. Comments and sentiments like these have been around for quite some time, even though they may not use the same language or platform to disseminate those ideas. Hilariously enough, however, one can easily look back to some of the oldest anime we have, or some of the anime considered to be in the canon of the medium, and see that there is a solid history of series that have worked to discuss issues that are deeply important and relevant to the human condition. So when I hear people complaining about the so-called “tainting” of their entertainment media, I can only think about how many shows have worked over the years to actually be about something, even if it isn’t right in your face, and how the medium has always, in some ways, been political or about real-world ideas.
With that being said, I think that it is important to consider how shows actually work to approach more serious concepts. While a lot of shows might want to be about some loftier or more important ideas, the inclusion and handling of them might not always be handled well, which honestly may be worse than not talking about them at all. Considering this, I have a small selection of shows from the current and previous anime seasons that I feel highlight the two different extremes of this concept – shows like Stars Align and The Case Files of Jeweler Richard, which effectively highlight current social and cultural issues that don’t get much attention in anime, as well as shows like Babylon, which try and fail miserably to be about mature moral and political issues.
Starting the year off right with two of my favorite types of stories: Romance and Representation! I’m a sucker for a fun, no major bummers or big drama, kinda romance where two people can comfortably get to know each other. This is also the perfect way to positively represent various issues and types of lives while being respectful to both, so it becomes a great way to experience another person’s perspective while also getting all those warm feelings about people in love. Love and empathy! Great combo.
Another year has come and gone and we at the Backloggers find ourselves at our anniversary for this blog. We’ve definitely seen more active years in the past, but we got to try out a few new ideas and were invited to participate in some very fun and interesting new experiences. As is usual, we’d like to look back on what we were up to this last year, but also what we’ve learned and can do better.
Rather than our more wordy approaches in the past, we’ve decided that we want to refine the anniversary post, as well as all our future content, and make it a lot more manageable for us. The plan is to be consistent and streamlined as we dedicate ourselves to doing better this coming year. So how about we begin with what we were up to this past year?
Every season, it feels like we get closer and closer to that perfect moment where every show we watched be a solid pick. This season was unfortunately not it.
That being said, we’ve still compiled a couple of fantastic shows that you should definitely check out, whether you’re into future cop crime thrillers, furry shenanigans, or a comedy about flowers, and baseball, and hoses, and the sun, and a Bench (I think?). We’ve even got the hot gossip (i.e., public outcry) about a certain soft tennis anime’s untimely end, so we’ve for sure got something in this batch that’ll interest you!