Backlog Busting – Kamisama Kiss

I’m not entirely sure why on a blog called “The Backloggers” it’s taken us a good five years or so to get a post series going about chipping away at our backlogs. Well, now we can’t say that we haven’t done it – this post marks the beginning of a series I’m dubbing “Backlog Busting,” where we, obviously, write about stuff on our backlog that we’ve recently knocked off the list (whether that means we completed it and loved it, ended up dropping it because it was surprisingly bad, or anything else in-between). As hilarious as it could have been to start this series out by talking about some hot garbage from deep in the backlog, I can pretty happily say that this post is about an absolute banger – Kamisama Kiss.

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Log Time Podcast | Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori Discussion — “They used Gatorade in the meal!?”

Okay, so Welcome to the N.H.K. might not have been the best choice for our last podcast, given the whole, you know, staying inside and existential dread thing. This time around, though, I don’t think we could have gotten a better show! We watched Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori, a heartwarming show about four dudes running a teahouse/cafe. If that sounds like a chill show with not much going on, you would be absolutely correct, and my god, did we need it.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori, having come out in 2018, is a show that all three of us didn’t even know existed, and we are here to atone for that crime. Even though the premise is simple and easy to digest, the show has a lot of layers, and we dig deep into them! Tofu gets in way too deep about food as narrative and narrative as food (it’s a show about a cafe, bro, chill), we have a surprisingly fruitful comparison of Rokuhoudou and Isekai Shokudou, and Kyle almost ends everyone by conjuring the ghostly image of a shonen food battle anime that uses Gatorade in all of its meals. Yeah, it’s a surprising amount of mileage on this one, so check it out!

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

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

This podcast was recorded August 27th, 2020.

The Toxicity of “Media Shaming” and Its Effects on Criticism in Anime

“Here we go again.”

It’s what I continuously say season after season when another discourse comes to light within the anime community. I don’t think it would necessarily be a problem if the discussions were fruitful and people were more understanding, a problem that I talked about back when responding to Irina’s article several months ago. That’s not to say that I think discourse is invalid or that I think that people shouldn’t be discussing how they feel about a particular show, but there’s a limit as to how you should do it and treating your debate partners with respect and understanding while doing so.

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Summer 2020 Mid-Season Rankings! (Week 7 Check-in)

Okay, folks – it’s here. It’s week seven, and all shows have at this point finally hit the middle of their cour, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for a mid-season ranking post!

I want to treat this post a little differently than the ones I’ve put together so far – I’m going to be giving a look at each show that I’m still watching this season and rank them according to…criteria. Magic stuff. You know. We’ll start from the bottom and progressively work our way to the top of my list for this season. I hope you’re ready, because, uh, I’m not.

Putting together a ranking for the shows I’m still watching has proved to be a genuinely grueling task. While I initially felt that it would be a simple task, once I got past the bottom two, the reality of the situation set in pretty hard when I found my list constantly switching shows around to hugely different positions. I think, however, that I’ve finally hit a spot I’m comfortable with, so join me, won’t you?

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No, this is not Fate – Summer 2020 Week 6 Check-in

Well, folks, here we are almost at the halfway point of the Summer 2020 season. This just feels…weird. The middle of a season always seems to creep up on me, and it always feels as though it gets here so much faster than anyone would really expect it to. And as a teacher, it took me by surprise even more than usual, since I’m preparing to be back in the classroom in a handful of days. However, I am pleased to say that everything I’ve stuck with has yet to really disappoint me, even this deep into the season. This week, as with last week, I’m going to highlight a few series that I want to give some special attention to. Check ‘em out!

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Seasonal Showcase — Re:Zero’s Confrontation With the Past [Summer 2020: Week 4 and 5]

In the past two weeks of Re:Zero, we’ve seen two perspectives of confronting the past regarding how Subaru and Emilia handle their own issues. While we still don’t have the full details of Emilia’s situation (although we can make assumptions at this point with some of the backstories from the OVAs), there is no doubt that they’ve both had their own troubles and issues when it comes to how their past selves have handled particular situations.

Looking back to Season 1, we’ve had a large overview of Subaru’s mentality regarding how self-righteous and selfish he was when it came to trying to fulfill his own desires and wants, to the point where it took several episodes in order for him to get knocked out of that mentality due to the hardships he faced at the time. While we still see bits of that shine through Subaru’s personality now, he’s obviously undergone a full transformation thanks to those hardships as well. By looking at Episode 29, we can get a lot more context about Subaru’s past life before he was isekai’d off into the universe of Re:Zero as we know it. 

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Log Time Podcast | Welcome to the NHK! — A(n) (Absolute Nightmare) Masterpiece!

Looking back on the rotation of shows we have on the docket for this podcast, it might not have been the best idea to watch Welcome to the N.H.K., a show about a hikikomori who can hardly leave his home due to crippling anxiety and depression, during a time where we can all hardly leave our homes, which is leading us to crippling anxiety and depression. Life comes at you fast, huh?

Despite the fact that the premise of Welcome to the N.H.K. is for sure a huge bummer, it’s a genuinely beautiful series that’s able to balance out its crushing moments of despair with some excellently punctuated comedy, and realistic, no-bs moments of genuine, heartwarming hope. There’s many reasons that people consider the show to be a masterpiece and a classic, and by the end of our discussion, we 100% agree. You might not want to watch it while we’re all quarantined and a little more on edge than normal, but then again, maybe this is the perfect time to watch it. Regardless of when, all we ask of you is that you absolutely do watch Welcome to the N.H.K. (And also listen to our podcast about it. You’re already here!)

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

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

This podcast was recorded August 6th, 2020.

Growth, Beating It, and Despair – Summer 2020 Week 5 Check-In

I think we’ve lucked out in the seasonal anime department, y’all, because this is going to be another week where pretty much everything was rock-solid. While it would be fun as always to briefly highlight everything I watched, I think it would be more fun to switch things up a bit for this post, though, and focus on just a handful of shows that were really on point this week. So without further ado, let’s dig in!

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Seasonal Showcase — Rent-A-Girlfriend Makes Me Want to Scream (But I Love It Anyway) [Summer 2020: Week 3]

As I scroll down my Twitter feed during any given season, I’m always curious to see what the current “discourse” is about any given show. Usually, this results in me reading a lot of points about shows that don’t necessarily agree with, but I can empathize with the reasoning in some way or another. 

This season, that show is Rent-A-Girlfriend. While the majority of people that I’ve discussed the show with are in love with the show, mostly for its scream-inducing moments and absurd rom-com elements, others aren’t necessarily into how Kazuya acts during the anime. While I feel that without Kazuya being like this, the show’s conflicts and discussions about different relationship dynamics wouldn’t be able to be had, I still respect the opinions of others not being able to stomach that behavior for 24 minutes each week. 

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The Beauty of the Haikyuu!! Dub – or, Why Dubs Matter Just as Much as Subs

This might be controversial to say, but whatever, here goes.

I love the Haikyuu!! dub. 

Until about two months ago, I hadn’t even touched Haikyuu!! as a series. As fate would have it, though, my partner stumbled upon a video of some highlights from the dub, and we collectively about pissed ourselves laughing – the script was just so good, and the voice actors really delivered. We basically took this as a good excuse to start watching the show – I had intended to watch it for a while now anyway, and she had wanted to catch up on it to be ready for the next cour coming in a few seasons, so after watching that video, we decided, hell, why not watch the first episode dubbed? The first episode went by, and then the next, and then the next, and suddenly, we’re at the end of season 2 and are scrambling to see who has the dub for season 3, because if it’s out there, it just wouldn’t feel right to not watch it dubbed, you know? What started as a “haha funny goof” turned pretty quickly into an unabashed admiration for this show’s dub. Somewhat unsurprisingly, given that the anime fandom is so often prone to “discussions” about subs versus dubs, a fair amount of people are of the opinion that the Haikyuu!! dub is some hot, steaming shit. And to that, I say “yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

This is not about to get into a subs versus dubs argument, because that shit is just tired, uninteresting, and, since it all stems from subjective viewpoints, pointless. What I do want to talk about, though, is the importance of great dubs, how subs and dubs are essentially serving the same purpose, but in different ways, and the need to axe the elitism inherent in subs vs dubs “debates”.

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