Archive for the 'impressions on a year' Category

Doing this for five years with something to show for it?

By TheBigN

This post is a little late, though given my posting frequency for the past year, it’s something.

It’s been an interesting year for me in general, and large parts of interesting stuff kept me from writing lengthy posts here on DMAB (if any posts at all – 16 here in the past 12 months :v) while making several tiny comments elsewhere. I’m very much grateful for dm00 picking up the slack and then some in this regard.

Picture by  rorerurirarirurero:

I wish this was how I look when I have free time to do things like this. Picture by rorerurirarirurero:

Continue reading ‘Doing this for five years with something to show for it?’

12 Days of Anime, Days 1 and 12: New Beginnings

By TheBigN

I had missed Day 12 earlier, but since it comes from the same moment as Day 1, I decided to put them together to finish up this series of events.

If there was an anime that I could say was my clear favorite of 2010, K-On!! would be it. The further adventures of Yui and friends were expanded from their manga sources nicely. Plus, the slow progression of the four seniors trying to figure out what they wanted to do in the future post high school made for impactful, poignant moments at the end of the show. But this season all started with a little riff:

Yui playing her portion of “My Love Is A Stapler” said a lot of things to me. As it was interspersed with scenes of fellow students, including the rest of Houkago Tea Time coming to school, it was the sign of a new term of school, and with it, all new potential for opportunies and adventures to have for everyone. The fact that Yui spent her morning getting to the Music Club room early and ended up practicing the song (while humming it as well) indicated that we might see a new Yui more dedicated to working hard on improving her playing which in turn would lead to a more improved band. And the fact that they decided to use my favorite HTT song rather than others that they played for that moment meant that at least for me, the moment would remain in my mind that much more effectively. But as we see Yui end her playing with a guitar windmill , it’s a good realization that despite all the other indications that the previous playing had provided for something different, this was still the group of fun-loving girls that we know, and that was a nice moment as well.

My other notable beginning for K-On!! actually comes after a notable source of tension in the show had ended. Continue reading ’12 Days of Anime, Days 1 and 12: New Beginnings’

12 Days of Anime, Day 2: From Her Heart To Ours

By TheBigN

Another day, another concert.

I liked the Kanon Nakagawa arc of The World God Only Knows, partly for its implausibility in the situation that Keima faced himself in as the one person that our idol focused on, and probably for realistically covering the life of an idol. As far as I know. But what got me was definitely the concert at the end to the arc. Leading up to it with Kanon losing confidence in her ability to make an impact, followed by her willingness to just make an impact for Keima as her loved one wasn’t really grabbing at all. I myself kinda wished they had more of a focus on why Kanon felt that way despite all the success that she was getting as an idol, and they kept hinting at something besides her history as a former member of a group, but nothing really came out of that too much. Then again, I’m not necessarily sure if getting into the bones of the motivations of her, or other heroines in the show, was the point. That being said, the concert more than made up for that. Continue reading ’12 Days of Anime, Day 2: From Her Heart To Ours’

12 Days of Anime, Day 3: Music Is Forever

One of the things that I liked about Sora no Woto was how the current setting that the story is set in came from essentially an amalgamation of whatever anachronisms were left over of the past following an apocalyptic war. It was a little disappointing that not much was done to really explore the setting, as the focus was clearly on the girls of the 1121st Platoon. But I did enjoy the bits and pieces that were given to us, as we struggled along with the show’s inhabitants to make sense of a world made up of a mix of elements of different cultures and traditions, where new meanings were given to things that we currently consider as institutions. And things like this make me think about the transience of things, where even with the desire to be known after death is present for many people, that realization might not be a given long after the fact. That being said, one idea about the series seems to be that while many things are lost to the wayside of time, some things are universal, and as such can remain with humanity even as life keeps moving onward. One such thing is music, and it’s demonstrated with what could be considered the show’s leitmotif in “Amazing Grace”:

There’s no specific moment from the show I’ll use here, but just the idea that music doesn’t even need words to have an impact on people, to the point that it can bring even warring factions together, is a desirable one.

12 Days of Anime, Day 4: Homeless Yuno

Episode 10 of Hidamari Sketch × ☆☆☆, in which Yuno flushes her keys down a school toilet, and ends up rooming with everyone in the Yamabuki Apartments.

Miyako's turn.

Miyako's turn.

Continue reading ’12 Days of Anime, Day 4: Homeless Yuno’

12 Days of Anime, Day 5: The Sense of Wonder

By TheBigN

I very much enjoyed the first eight music videos that comprised Gurren Lagann Parallel Works, where members of the cast of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann were thrust into alternate worlds, or at other periods in their lives besides that of the specific timeline the series was based in. At the same time, you don’t need to have any knowledge about the show at all to enjoy them as well. So I was pretty damn ecstatic about hearing that there were seven more episodes to come this year, and checked them out when I heard that they came out. As with the first set, I enjoyed all of the videos, animated by different animators associated with GAINAX, and focusing on different genres as well. But as luck would have it, the first video of Parallel Works 2, “The Sense of Wonder” blew me away, and remained my favorite of them all:

Animated by Akemi Hayashi, the cast is moved into a more fantastical world, where Lagann is relegated to a toy, and Nia acts as an entertainer and is kept by Lord Genome. What remains the same are things like the relationships between Kamina and Simon/Yoko, the burgeoning love between Simon and Nia, and the caste system with Lord Genome at the apparent head of it all (hah hah!).  And the music, with vocals by Ai Ujita (singer for BlueBlue/I’s Cube), is fantastical, solemn but hopeful, and helps narrarate the story as well as spoken word probably could.  “The Sense of Wonder” tells a lot in it’s 5 minutes and leaves a lot unsaid and known, but for me, it was just beautiful.

12 Days of Anime, Day 6: A Punch To The Face = Satisfaction

Running late, but oh well.

Durarara!! lost its steam as the show went along, with arguably it’s climax being the reveal of the Dollars’ full force, and Celty growing comfortable with who she currently is while still searching for her missing head. But the tension of the three separate factions coming together to do battle remained, notwithstanding because of how all of the major plot points in the show, and especially in the second half, were pretty much orchestrated by the Magnificent Bastard, Izaya Orihara. As time went on, Izaya became a very frustrating character to watch, as 2DT attests:

A rich and handsome young man who knows everything (including where to find some really sweet duds), who is never caught by surprise in any meaningful sense, because everything fits into his multi-game chessboard that screams “by the way, in case you didn’t get the memo, I’m a renegade genius.” Izaya has no flaw whatsoever, aside from being a total sociopath—which is hardly a flaw when he’s neither bothered nor hindered by it at any time, ever.

Continue reading ’12 Days of Anime, Day 6: A Punch To The Face = Satisfaction’

12 Days of Anime, Day 7: A Near Death Mood Whiplash

From the get go, it was hard not to see Occult Academy as being anything other than a dramedy, what with Maya’s past with her now-deceased father coupled with the crazy antics and adventures in exploring the supernatural. And yet, the show still seemed to throw people for a loop with the fact that the quest to prevent a future apocalypse wasn’t totally Serious Business. Never mind the fact that it wasn’t completely executed well, but I felt that the show kept the balance of comedy and drama fairly nicely. And the show always (until the end at least) made ways to remind the audience of that balance, as one of the more stunning examples occurred in episode 6.

The flick that changed the world.

The flick that changed the world.

Continue reading ’12 Days of Anime, Day 7: A Near Death Mood Whiplash’

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