This week, we discuss the ethic systems in place within Shinsekai Yori and how perceptions of those ethics shape our view of humanity.
Unrelated, we also talk about Japan’s obsession with blood types for a bit.
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This podcast was recorded on November 19th, 2016.
In the recent months, there have been several anime releases that have caused a massive amount of discussion about the concept of “show, don’t tell” between fans and critics alike. From my observations of discussions on recent anime, including Re:Zero, Mob Psycho 100, and Kizumonogatari Part I, along with many others, the community at large seems to have varying perceptions of which animated productions utilize this concept well and which ones do not. Many people seem to share a common opinion about the topic though, and that is “show, don’t tell” is a storytelling technique that is universally accepted as a standard for media or literature to always strive for, and when used, it is almost always presented in a positive light. Likewise, when there is a large amount of dialogue presented to the audience, it tends to have the opposite effect, creating a near universal hatred for moments that tend to use dialogue-heavy scenes. Although personally, I don’t think either of these expressions are a great way of thinking about the concept as a whole.
I can’t seem to count how many times I heard the phrase “reality and the game are separate!” while watching Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta (or just Netoge for short). For those unfamiliar with the show, Netoge is a light novel adaptation following high school student Hideki Nishimura and his Alley Cats Guild friends in their Net Game Club. Hideki Nishimura and Ako Tamaki, the central protagonists, have strong, differing views of how they exist in and outside of their MMO of choice, Legend Age. Ako sees the world of the game and “reality” (let’s call them the digital world and the physical world, respectively), as one in the same. Hideki sees it as the opposite: that the physical and digital worlds are separate. Although I don’t think either of them really hit the issue square on the head, and the show tends to skirt around any conversations about this that could be pretty cool or enlightening, I’m actually inclined to agree with both Ako and Hideki to some degree.
If you have watched Episode 10 of the Log Time Podcast, or have any semblance of familiarity with the series Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (also referred to as Jintai) you’re more than likely familiar with the Fairies, the pint-sized figures of great power and importance within Jintai. Considered in some regards to be mythological, the Fairies are very real, very present, and admittedly, very goofy forces of nature. As humanity slowly plods on towards its seemingly inevitable demise, the Fairies have been considered by some, namely Watashi and her Grandfather, to be the “new humanity.” They are humanoid, capable of the creation and utilization of advanced tools, even magic, and are generally an amiable species. It seems that for these reasons and others that the Fairies have been conceptually considered to be the theoretical successors of mankind on earth. Considering them humankind’s successors brings up other questions, namely that of the reason behind mankind’s stepping down, so to speak. We already get a basic sense of this from the title, roughly “Humanity Has Declined.” We understand that humankind is on its way out, as Watashi states, but we are unsure of the specifics of how this decline came about. Watashi alludes towards a decline through frivolity and decadence – through waste and overconsumption. We have causes, but not any specific instances of what brought about the downfall, and as a result, we are left to consider several factors – perhaps the largest of which is “why the Fairies?” Why are they being passed the torch? There’s as many possibilities as there are people with opinions out there (and that’s a bunch), but I’ve picked out three that came to mind and seemed like interesting points to consider. This is not to say that these are the “most valid” or best possibilities, of course. This is more just a collection of thoughts spawning from my question “Why?”
My methods of choosing what anime I want to watch next are probably abnormal compared to most. Sometimes I become interested in a show by reading a blog post, or sometimes the selection is completely spontaneous and random. Nerawareta Gakuen fell more into the former category for me, as I originally discovered it through a video created by Digibro, an anime blogger/reviewer. While I can’t find the exact video that originally inspired this post, I found another video of his that reflected the same viewpoint.
Log Time is the podcast of The Backloggers where we talk about anime, manga, light novels, and how people become crazy, homicidal killers when they gain the unlimited power of immortality.
In this episode, we go over how Baccano!’s format affected the perception of the show and discuss the wide variety of characterization present within the show, all while providing some comedic humor along the way (the comedic part may be open to interpretation).
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Articles are also coming soon. Keep an eye out for those!
I’m not entirely sure what compelled me to watch the second season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT (popularly shortened to Haganai NEXT). Haganai’s first season was an intriguing invitation into the world of the Neighbors Club at St. Chronica’s Academy, fronted by Kodaka Hasegawa, Sena Kashiwazaki, and Yozora Mikazuki. The show itself has all of the trappings that you would expect of a comedy-harem-school-romance-slice-of-life, and though I can’t say that I disliked the show, I can’t really say I cared much for it, either. I can at least say that, if nothing else, the show crafted a cast of characters that stood out in my mind some time after I had finished watching the season. It is perhaps because of this – that I cared for the characters but not the show itself – that I decided to give the second season a shot.
Unsurprisingly, the second season was largely more of the same – oversexualized high-schoolers, misunderstandings, and a whole lot of Kodaka being his protag self and missing every romantic advance that his female counterparts sent his way. Honestly, the second season’s pacing and timing of jokes was an improvement over the first, yet there were still moments where I found myself wondering “do I really want to keep watching this?” It was not until episode 10, “The Sad-Case King and the Stone-Cold Story” (“Zannen Ō to Waraenai Hanashi” [残念王と笑えない話]), that I stopped asking myself this.