12 Days of Anime #2 – Nine Great Anime Related Moments from 2014

Tomorrow I’m going to post the anime moment that had left the deepest impression upon me this past year. I’ve already written of 10 moments, but here are nine more moments that I thought merited a paragraph each, of an exciting, impactful or “other” moment in my anime-related life from the past year. Why nine? Because tomorrow is the tenth, the big one (Order of following moments is arbitrary).
Moments will be included for: Nobunagun, Mushishi, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Chihayafuru, Princess Tutu, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (and Stardust Crusaders), Log Horizon, Hunter x Hunter (2011), and Madoka Magica: Rebellion.

Princess Tutu Anime - Kureha / Rue standing over Prince Mytho

1. Princess Tutu is a Magical Show: Princess Tutu is hands down the best show I’ve watched this year, which makes me not finishing it even worse. I’ve listened to a lot of classic music and ballets as a child, and Princess Tutu using them all was splendid. The story is basically timeless, speaks to my love of narratives and meta-narratives (similar to The Witches’ sub-series in Terry Pratchett’s The Discworld series), and the more thought you put into the show, the more you get into it. Would be a great show to watch with one’s children, for the older readers of my blog.

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Spring 2014 Week 10 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. Mushishi was here this week! But due to tests and such I had a bit less energy for this season, as it’s winding down, rather than winding up for exciting finales. Two episodes’ worth of Chaika, since I’ve missed it last week.

1) Ping Pong the Animation episode 9

Ping Pong the Animation anime Episode 9 overview

 

This episode is about the return of the past. Sakuma and Beach guy? Sure. But how about two friends who are going to fight for the top spot (assuming Peco beats Kazama), where one of them has knee-problems, and the other doesn’t want to harm his friend’s dream? Reminds you of Coach Koizumi and Kazama’s grandfather, eh? Smile had also been told that he’ll harm his opponent if he gives him the win, and Obaba had said Smile has no mercy, and is a monster.

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Spring 2014 Week 9 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. Another week without Mushishi leaves us orphaned. Drama had been fairly good this week, while popcorn was being its normal popcorny-stuff.

1) Ping Pong the Animation episode 8

Ping Pong the Animation Episode 8 overview

This show isn’t messing around. It doesn’t throw surprise punches at you, but sets up the characters logically, and then lets them act out their natures.

Kazama doesn’t believe in heroes, which means that not only does he not look up to others, but he also doesn’t see himself as a hero. He doesn’t seek to lead his team as a “leader”, but as a symbol of unflagging prowess. He cares not for the psychology of it, and it seems he doesn’t care for them either. No heroes, but there is money, and there are symbols, symbols such as the school. His is a cold world, one of powers, and not people.

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Spring 2014 Anime Midseason Overview (Part 1/2: Action)

Mid-season of the anime season of Spring 2014 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on. Due to the length of the list, I split it in half. The first part will include all the action shows, while the 2nd part, tomorrow, will cover the rest of them.

Shows are listed in order of enjoyment. Numbers are order on the list, and in parenthesis the order in the joint list, comprised of 13 shows.

1 (4) Black Bullet

Black Bullet anime Spring 2014 midseason overview

I like shounen shows. I like popcorn shows. Give me some good action, with hot-headed characters, fights fueled by ideals, and some kicking music to go with, and I’m happy. Black Bullet does a lot of that.

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Spring 2014 Week 3 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

Shows in order of my enjoyment of the latest episode, not the show as a while.

I’m actually dropping/putting on hold a few shows. Finally cutting down on some write-ups (I hope I can!) link are to relevant blog-posts, and only for shows I thought the write-up was good or lengthy enough. First impressions for M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane, extra long write-ups for Isshuukan Friends, M3, and Mekakucity Actors.

1) Ping Pong episode 2

Ping Pong the Animation episode 2 overview - Tsukimoto Makoto / Smile has a face-off with coach Koizumi Jou

From APR – Ping Pong Episode 2 takes what the first episode had done and kicks it to overdrive. The characters which were basic are actually built. The interactions are charming, the characters are all “known” and nothing is new, but they still have depth and convince you of their reality, as their quirky natures rise to the top. A loveable cast, solid acting, and solid direction. The “duel” being narrated from the sides, discussing the other’s personality, the flicks to the butterfly… this ping pong duel had been directed and narrated as a samurai show fight, straight out of a samurai manga, and it’s one of the best such duels I’ve watched or read in a long while.

Verdict: Kept, full write-ups.

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Spring 2014 Season Expectations.

Another season is upon us (this week!), so it’s time to look at what I’m going to watch, and what I’m expecting. Quite interesting to look at my expectations for Winter 2014 and how they panned out (poor Mahou Sensou and Nobunaga the Fool…). Most of the information about the shows can be had from RandomCuriosity’s page, the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver.

As always, organized by days of the week, because I might pick a show on an empty day or cut shows I enjoy on days already overfilled with other shows. Order is by expectation within that day. Originally I’ve listed every show I had some interest in, but that ended with 30 shows. After cutting some out, still had 22. Even if I don’t write anything about the shows, and even if I drop half by the time we’re 3 weeks in (which I never succeed at doing), that’s too much. There are quite a few shounen popcorn and RomComs shows this season, and most will likely be interchangeable, so need to pick 1-2 of each type, or wait for a few weeks in and hear which ones are better.

Descriptions will be short, more on why I find them interesting. “Didn’t make it in” could also be seen as shows I might pick up after dropping others based on buzz.

Sunday:

Break Blade (TV) AnimeBreak Blade – A drama about vying realms, with the monarchs having studied together as youth. Love and treachery, gallantry. A setting with fantasy mechs. I think this sounds very interesting. A version of 6 films adapting the same source material exists and had been on my plan to watch list for a while. Hadn’t watched it yet, so will try these.
Interest Rating: 2/3. Quite intrigued, and if it turns out badly, can turn to the films.
Write-ups: Could happen. Intrigue and drama, after all.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr / Brynhildr in the Darkness – Made by the people behind Elfen Lied, both the manga author and the anime team, and that’s what most people decide whether to watch the show by. I thought Elfen Lied was “fine”, somewhere just ahead of mediocre. I didn’t hate it, and the premise seems interesting to me – a girl is supposed to be dead and comes back, played for drama and mystery. Yes, in the end premise is only the hook, and it’s all about execution, but it is what it is.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Very cautious. But Sunday is still quite enough to permit it.
Write-ups: Nope.

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Media Month in Review – February 2014

I’ve been all sorts of busy and pre-occupied this month, which explains the relative dearth of movies watched, as well as all the editorials I said I’ll write and hadn’t. I’ll also use this entry to give a sentence or so on each of the currently airing anime I’ve watched, and there’d been a metric ton of those.

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic.

Movies:

  • Frozen – I really wanted to watch this in the cinemas, but by the time my friend and I had time, it was only airing with Hebrew dub, and we didn’t want that, so I’ve watched it on the last night of the month, at home. Man, I had so much fun. Alongside Tangle, it really feels as if Disney is getting back on the horse in recent years. The movie held no surprises for me, being able to see all plot-twists, but that’s hardly an issue. The acting was solid, and as is often the case the supporting characters who are only meant to elicit jokes stole the show. I actually didn’t like Elsa and her voice actress (Idina Menzel) too much, but since she’s essentially a supporting character (as is the case in every Disney film, only one princess is the main character, and this time it’d been Anna) it wasn’t too much of an issue. I did wish they had more songs, the song above is the only major song in the film.

    All in all though? It was a charming movie, it was beautiful, it was fun, it was funny and it made me slightly emotional. Highly recommended.
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