After five or so years of working on projects as part of The Backloggers, I think I can, with full confidence, say that I’m cursed. When you hear “cursed,” you likely aren’t thinking of it in relation to an anime blog or blogger. Sure, maybe a blogger is reviewing some “cursed” content, or maybe the content being put out by the blog is “cursed,” but that’s all in the fun, jokey, colloquial use of “cursed.” It’s never, you know, the “you got on a witch or demon or whatever’s bad side” bad cursed.
Folks, I mean I am the bad cursed. And it’s all because of fucking Hand Shakers.
Well, it only took us four years of blogging to get picked up for a review. Go us!
In all seriousness, though, thanks to TriCoast Studios for reaching out to us about the opportunity to review Violence Voyager – it’s an awesome moment for us to have been asked to do this, and we’ve been pretty dang excited to oblige. I can pretty confidently say that Violence Voyager is entirely unlike anything we’ve seen before as a blogging collective (and you can get a sense of whether or not you’ve seen anything like it, too, by checking out the trailer here)!
It’s the end of 2018. The year is coming to a close, with a new year and new anime just on the horizon. As I scan over the Winter 2019 season’s offerings, I spy a show called W’z that stirs something within me – it looks a whole lot like Hand Shakers, a show that, no pun intended, shook me to the core almost two years ago. I find a trailer, and sure enough, it’s the same style, aesthetic, and even the jarring gear-looking weapons. I’m having minor heart palpitations. Surely Hand Shakers didn’t get a sequel greenlit – a show that was as consistently panned by critics and viewers alike couldn’t have been given the blessing, let alone the budget, for a season two. I talk to my co-host Owningmatt93, and I’m assured by him that “it’s just the style GoHands does, man. All of their stuff looks like this.” Looking at trailers for, for instance, K: Return of Kings, it does indeed look pretty much exactly the same, aside from a lesser emphasis on a mix of 2D and 3D animation. My fears assuaged somewhat, I continue on with my look at what’s in store for the next few months.
It’s 2019. A new year, a fresh start, and a new season ahead of us for anime. It’s 2019, and I get this message in The Backloggers Slack chat:
Synopsis: The anime Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (also known as My Little Monster) is a shoujo manga adaptation about understanding the relationship between Mizutani Shizuku, a hardworking student, and Yoshida Haru, a troublemaking delinquent.
As with all shoujo stories, romance and relationship-building are what drives the genre and finding a stand-out from the typical formula of two people meeting and slowly coming to realization of their feelings for each other is a rarity. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun defies the conventional formula by starting out with the confession and working backwards. Because of this, we get to watch these characters handle romantic issues in a highly genre-breaking fashion. Shizuku and Haru struggle with each other and themselves to discover their own feelings for each other and what the concept of love truly means to them. While this likely isn’t the first instance of a shoujo story breaking the genre, genre-breakers are always interesting and are especially easy to draw people into watching.