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bran-new lovesong



A love letter of sorts to all the stuff from Japan. 99.99999% of my anime writing can be found at theglorioblog.com



 



Hey Nozaki-kun Fans...

Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:30:00 -0500

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So I’m posting outside of the Glorio Blog for the first time in years solely to remind everyone that Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun (or Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun if you must) is not a shoujo manga. It is actually appears as part of an online shonen magazine published by Square Enix alongside the likes of Daily Lives of High School Boys and Watamote.

Why is the distinction important? Well honestly, it’s not. I’ve always hated the narrow anime and manga demographics and the series seems to be popular with guys and gals pretty evenly. I wanted to bring this up though because I think it’s really cool that a series with such positive portrayals of both genders is being marketed toward young men. It’s rare that a series says you don’t have to be strictly entertained by violence and aggression and boobs and toilet humor – the hallmarks of many other shonen series and pretty much any other entertainment specifically aimed at guys. Nozaki-kun would be just as great without factoring in the demographic, but I think it makes it more special when you do.




Kaleidoscope: What Kyoto Animation Taught Me

Thu, 08 Nov 2012 08:46:00 -0500

Kaleidoscope: What Kyoto Animation Taught Me:

aquagaze:

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: No matter how small your existence may be, getting excited is still worth it.

Lucky Star: Your friends are invaluable, no matter how crazy they might be. OTAKU REFERENCES HURR HURR

Clannad: Love is stronger than any hardship in this world.

K-ON!: You don’t need to be ambitious in order to enjoy something.

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: You don’t know how happy you are with what you have unless you know what it’s like to live without it.

K-ON!!: Friendship lasts forever.

Hyouka: Even the tiniest hint of curiosity and effort can make your life worth it.

Love, Chuunibyou and Other Delusions!: It’s a-okay to be wacky if it makes you happy.

Nichijou: … uhm… The only thing funnier than loudly yelling a non-sequitur is… loudly yelling more non-sequiturs? Our everyday lives may, in fact, be a series of miracles.




glorioblog: Congrats to NASA on their CURIOSITY. View...

Mon, 06 Aug 2012 04:00:34 -0400

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glorioblog:

Congrats to NASA on their CURIOSITY.

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WHAT HAVE I DONE




Review I wrote over at the GLORIO blog, go read...

Sat, 04 Aug 2012 03:06:35 -0400

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Review I wrote over at the GLORIO blog, go read it!

glorioblog:

K-ON!! Season 2 Blu-ray Collection 1 Review

When Bandai Entertainment shut its North American doors several months ago, K-ON! fans were a bit worried what would happen to the series second season. Bandai had just completed their archaic four volume season 1 release, but now the fate of the Sakura High Light Music Club was in jeopardy. Sentai Filmworks quickly answered the call, picking up the season 2 and packaging it in a more reasonable two volume set. Do the girls of HTT survive the transition intact or would we all have been better off if the license was left to die? Let’s see what’s under the shrink wrap.

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glorioblog: Humanity Has Declined Episode 5 Recap: A festival...

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 15:57:53 -0400

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glorioblog:

Humanity Has Declined Episode 5

Recap: A festival is held to celebrate the increasingly futile Human Monument Project and the discovery of a possible new electricity source. This causes the fairies, who die when exposed to electromagnetic waves, to leave Camphorwood. In the meantime, the Mediator investigates the ruins of a nearby city the UN would like to restore and Nana Mizuki shows up as some kind of robot cat girl.

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CHAN MIO!!!!!

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 22:37:00 -0400

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CHAN MIO!!!!!




glorioblog: Total Eclipse Episode 4 Recap: Yuuya has his first...

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 09:16:53 -0400

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glorioblog:

Total Eclipse Episode 4

Recap: Yuuya has his first real training exercise but has trouble controlling his Japanese TSF. His day worsens when he follows the mysterious Russian girl he keeps seeing around base.

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glorioblog: Hyouka Advertisement

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 13:32:27 -0400

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glorioblog:

Hyouka Advertisement




glorioblog: Tari Tari Episode 4 Recap:The World Festival is...

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 11:46:46 -0400

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glorioblog:

Tari Tari Episode 4

Recap:The World Festival is shaken up by an old classic band with ties to Sakai’s past. Konatsu is a huge fan, but has to remember what she’s singing for.

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glorioblog: Humanity Has Declined Episode 4 AKA the Miyuki...

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 13:04:36 -0400

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glorioblog:

Humanity Has Declined Episode 4 AKA the Miyuki Sawashiro Show

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Total Eclipse Episode 3

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 22:40:00 -0400

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[Read more anime coverage at theglorioblog.com]

Recap: A group of pilots from nations overrun by BETA are gathered to test TSF at a research facility in Alaska. Ace American pilot Yuuya Bridges arrives and meets the team.

Thoughts: REBOOT! As expected, Total Eclipse has taken a very different feel after the time skip. You’re kind of tipped off by the real bullets being replaced by paintballs and the young looking (age to be determined) girl wandering around the base with an angry teddy bear. I guess I’m OK with that, despite the annoying little girl from Nepal with the huge chip on her shoulder. God I hope she works that out soon.

What I find more notable is the shift of focus to Yuuya. After two episodes of developing Yui she hardly appears in the episode, only saying a few ominous things to indicate that the two will probably not get along well. Will they be splitting screen time as co-stars or is this now his show? I suppose it’s too early to tell, but hopefully they will both get the development they need.

While I still think it has potential, overall I’m still not totally sold on Total Eclipse. It is a bit anticlimactic to go from watching your friends getting eaten by aliens to Super Robot Paintball. We’ll just have to see what kind of new conflicts and tension they can build with the new setting.




Tari Tari Episode 3

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:32:43 -0400

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[Read more anime coverage at theglorioblog.com]

Recap: The choir club falls apart after their failed recital, leaving Konatsu once again searching for members. Taichi also finds himself recruiting for badminton. Who will convince who to join their club?

Thoughts: It’s probably not fair to pick apart the plot of a show like Tari Tari, but they’ve demanded to be taken seriously enough times that I have to mention it. So far everything has gone exactly the way you would expect and looking ahead I don’t think that’s going to change. The inevitable grouping of the five main characters and the looming “revelation” about Sakai’s mother has been so painfully obvious I just want it to all be over with.

In between grinding through the predictable plot though, there was fun to be had this episode. There’s definitely an attempt at adding a bit of international flavor, first with Wein and now with whatever plot they’re developing for this upcoming “World Festival”. Fun observation: Crunchyroll translated whatever the foreigner guy was saying but I did not see hard subs in the video. Were we not supposed to know what he was saying? It would certainly have made him a lot creepier and made more sense from Sakai’s point of view.

Getting back to the point, Tari Tari continues to be a pleasant, predictable, inoffensive good time. For now I am OK with that, but here’s hoping they’ll be able to add some decent drama to the mix at some point.




Humanity Has Declined Episode 3

Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:33:14 -0400

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[Read more anime coverage at theglorioblog.com]

Recap: The Mediator is visited by an old “friend” known as Y who is working on a project to preserve human history. Y loses focus on her mission and works to revive a long lost art form, leading to disastrous consequences.

Thoughts: Miyuki Sawashiro appears and the show turns into adult Kanbaru Suruga living in a post-apocalyptic future. Do I really need to say anything else? OK fine, on to the serious commentary:

I generally hate when artists create fiction about their industry. You know, songs about writing songs or a novel starring an author or TV shows about making TV shows, that kind of thing. While I understand Humanity is a novel series and the author is primarily know for writing VNs, I couldn’t help but be a little wary when they started digging into a very specific niche of the manga industry. Fortunately, Humanity continues to defy my expectations.

Rather than become the self indulgent rant I was fearing, episode 3 takes a look at a manga sub genre and uses it as an example that could really be applied to any industry. It’s a pretty brutal commentary on the uninspired, copy cat antics of publishers and the fickle, obsessive nature of the fandom. Couldn’t you really say those same things about anime or many other niche interests?

After two episodes of dishing out heavy, politically charged beatings, I was really surprised to see Humanity aim its crosshairs elsewhere. It has a little less impact when they’re going after a much more trivial target, but now I’m curious on what else they could take on. With the Mediator and Y stuck in their current predicament we’ll still be working on this arc, but after that the possibilities seem endless.




Total Eclipse Episode 2

Sun, 15 Jul 2012 02:10:21 -0400

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[Read more anime coverage at theglorioblog.com]

Recap: Kyoto is destroyed as the Japanese forces are forced to retreat. Three years later Yui is leaving Japan, determined to never cry again.

Thoughts: This episode was very blunt in taking the Horrors of War angle and the fact that their attempts were so transparent kind of dampened the effect. The one scene that comes to mind was an old man literally saying “oh no Kyoto, our Imperial capital of 1200 years, has fallen!”, something every Japanese person would have already understood, and shedding a very quick tear. That and the baby in the war hospital at the end were clearly shortcuts to stir our emotions and it was just too straightforward to be effective.

That being said, no matter how predictable the death of Yui’s squadmates I still found the way they died to be appropriately unsettling. Clearly these first two episodes have just been establishing Yui’s source of motivation and while it wasn’t the most elegant setup I think we got what we need. I am very curious now to see what direction the series takes from here. Will it continue to try and depict the grim results of war or will it be a lighter setting for our heroine to recover in? I’m fairly certain it will be the latter but we shall soon see.




Tari Tari Episode 2

Sun, 15 Jul 2012 02:06:59 -0400

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[Read more anime coverage at theglorioblog.com]

Recap: Konatsu recruits plenty of members for her new choir club including Sakai, whom the faculty seem very interested in. On the day of their first performance however, it almost seems like fate itself tries to deny her the chance to sing.

Thoughts: First things first: Sawa is the best character. I’m sure plot-wise Sakai will be their musical Ace in the Hole and save the day at some point, but as far as enjoying Tari Tari as a viewer I think Sawa is going to be their real secret weapon. We already knew she rides horses, practices archery, and wears a ridiculously stylish hat, but this episode we get to see her unflinching will power and confidence that keeps everyone moving.

Unfortunately the plot isn’t nearly as strong as the return of the oppressive Assistant Principal and the not-so-mysterious backstory brewing for Sakai are all predictable moves. But I suppose with a show like Tari Tari it’s more about the characters and how they develop than the overall story itself. Sawa aside the other girls play their roles fine and I will be interested to see how the dynamics change once the boys get more involved. Badminton boy and the Austrian already have their own built in quirks so we’ll see what else they have to add to the show.




Hyouka Episodes 11.5 and 12

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 22:49:00 -0400

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[Read more anime coverage at theglorioblog.com]

Recap: Houtarou’s sister returns and makes him get a job as a pool lifeguard. The anthology is finished and ready for the school festival, but how will they sell all these copies?

Thoughts: After floundering a bit with a four part Movie arc that was at least two episodes too long, Hyouka steps it up with a couple of anime staple episodes done right. Hey, if you must have your pool and school festival episodes, might as well put them to work.

Episode 11.5 was really a low quality pre-showing of the bonus episode that will be on the bluray release. So yes, there is plenty of Chitanda in a bikini to rack up sales. But even though there were a few painstakingly animated shots of her coming out of the water, it was all part of the plan to bring her and Houtarou closer together. Just about all her fan service shots are from his perspective, with almost no attention directed at Mayaka. And let’s be honest, if you were in his shoes that’s probably where your eyes would be. It’s kind of disappointing this was a “bonus” episode since it’s pretty plot relevant between episode 11 and 12 and ends with one of Houtarou’s biggest concessions to his new way of life yet. So be sure to watch it, if not now then later on when it’s released in better quality.

Episode 12 featured some much needed attention for Mayaka in a good example of “show, not tell” characterization. I like how they contrasted her choice in cosplay (old obscure manga character) with the other girls in the manga society (popular but irrelevant vocaloids) to kind of give you a feel for the type of person she is. That’s probably the most progressive development as the rest of the episode is packed with Chitanda filling this week’s moe quota, but they do at least manage to set us up for next week’s mystery.

If you haven’t figured out by now that Hyouka is not about solving mysteries but about Houtarou realizing he should get out and live his life, well, these two episodes drive that home pretty hard. His willingness to analyze himself without falling apart or being too stubborn to change is part of what makes Hyouka an interesting watch, even though the events around him have been totally inconsequential.




Humanity Has Declined Episode 2

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 22:35:00 -0400

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[Hey faithful readers, I’m back to my regular anime coverage but now I’ll be writing over at theglorioblog.com. Go check it out for more cool anime, manga and games coverage.]

Recap: The Mediator finds herself wandering deeper and deeper into the ominous fairy factory, only to uncover the true masterminds behind the mysterious goods.

Thoughts: I was a little worried Humanity would be all shock and awe after seeing the first episode, but the second has reassured me the writer knows exactly what he’s doing. In a series that decries our wasteful society it’s fitting that hardly a single narrative detail goes unused. For example, that novelty gun noise made by the Assistant’s camera may have seemed unecessary last episode, but oh how it drove home the point in this episode’s climactic showdown. Even the suicide itself filled a need – if you’re going to have a bunch of sentient headless chickens jumping off a cliff, might as well have them feed some hungry children.

Of course the bigger issue is now that you have our attention, what do you want to say? So long as they keep the message universal I am OK with the satirical bludgeoning they’ve been raining down on impotent governments and the mindless sheep that follow them. I do have to wonder if the human middle manager that appears early in the episode was meant to be a specific target, but I don’t know anything about Japanese politics so I couldn’t say.

For a show best known thus far for a talking piece of bread ripping itself in half and spouting blood, surprisingly I think Humanity’s most admirable trait has been it’s restraint. It’s cynical but not too dour, witty but not too funny, principled but not too preachy. If it can keep all those things in check then we might just be watching something really special.




Dat hat.

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 23:36:52 -0400

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Dat hat.




The real Triple H performing イカれちまったぜ!! live. Someone please...

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 03:25:23 -0400

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The real Triple H performing イカれちまったぜ!! live. Someone please give Himari’s voice actress more work.




I am enjoying Hyouka and all but this looks much cooler. And no,...

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 22:24:00 -0400



I am enjoying Hyouka and all but this looks much cooler.

And no, this is NOT an anime, it is just a promotional video for a light novel Kyoto Animation is publishing.