Picks of the Month – My Brother’s Husband

This is genuinely one of the most heart-warming things I’ve read in awhile.  My Brother’s Husband is a multiple award-winning story about a single father, Yaichi, living in Japan.  His twin brother Ryoji, had moved to Canada and there found love and legally married his fiancé. However, after ten years living abroad, Ryoji suddenly died.  Now, a month has passed and suddenly, Ryoji’s husband, Mike, has decided to come to visit Japan to learn more about his husband and his family that he never got a chance to meet.  While living with them, Mike helps to change the lives of our main character Yaichi and his daughter, helping them to not only come to terms with his brother’s passing, but also his own biases that didn’t allow Yaichi to fully accept his brother.

Continue reading

Pick of the Month – Satoko & Nada

Okay, this one… This one right here?  Delightful.

Satoko & Nada is a simple series about two young women finding themselves as roommates in University and exploring each other’s cultures.  Satoko is a Japanese exchange student to America who finds her expectations for her roommate are very unlike what she initially thought when she meets Nada, another exchange student who comes from Saudi Arabia.  However, the two find themselves as incredibly fast friends and, for the benefit of this manga, very open and accepting about sharing their cultures with each other.

Continue reading

Spider-Man – How a game about superheroes got super real.

So, in case anyone missed it, the new Spider-Man game on PS4 is just gosh dang fun. Every little detail of pretending to be Spider-Man swinging through the streets of Manhattan Island is one of my favorite experiences I’ve played in a game in a long time, and Insomniac keeps showing me why they continue to be amazing at what they do.  It’s just so much fun to swing around, to beat up gangs of bad guys, or even to hop down onto the city streets and high-five a fan or finger guns a tourist as they snap a picture of you. It’s not only the systems and mechanics but also the atmosphere of the game, with decent portions of the game taking place on bright, sunny days and with wonderful and fully realized characters going about their lives across New York.  So it came as a surprise to me, a person who was just enraptured and thinking about the gameplay, that after a few hours of playing, I found myself crying.

maxresdefault

Let me back up a bit and give some context.

Continue reading

Violet Evergarden 7+8 – In the Grasp of Loss

It is fairly easy to say that, up until this point, Violet Evergarden has been fairly single-minded in its approach to the conveyance of its narrative, plot direction, and character development. Though episodes three through six have very much contained their own interesting, well-detailed vignettes that feel quite distinct from one another, they have invariably followed, to some degree, a formula of sorts for each episode. Through the course of each story, we follow a side character who initially misunderstands Violet, learns more about her, and feels they understand her a bit better by the end of the episode, and during this period of time, Violet comes to understand an emotion that had previously been inaccessible or unknown to her. Beyond that, while there have been a small number of deviations from the standard course of the show thus far, Violet Evergarden has stayed the course in keeping with its low-key, slow-burn delivery of its tale to us. Episodes seven and eight change that.

Continue reading

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]

Continue reading