Archive for the 'Long Winded Analysis' Category

Anime Secret Santa 2013: Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth

By TheBigN

“It takes a while to get used to.” – Clarisse, on many things the characters face in this show.

The first thing I thought about the show after the first episode was that Yune was a pretty brave person. The main character of Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth, her story begins in Paris, France in the 19th century after what seems to be tagging along with a French traveller, Oscar Claudel, in his journey from Japan in order to help out at his grandson’s ironwork shop. Why this happens, how it happens, and what Yune aimed to do weren’t being listed, and barely glossed over during the course of the show (other than Yune’s helping out seemed to be more like being a maid than anything else), because that apparently is not the point. Rather, our goal is to see Yune, and Oscar’s grandson Claude, try to start to make sense of different cultures (Yune’s Nagasaki heritage vs Claude’s middle-class upbringing in a turn of the century France) as she does what apparently amounts to a homestay at that point in time.  One of the things that was endearing to me about her was her willingness to go full throttle with trying to understand a new culture and a new country. Things noticed include initially finding out how much she prepared for this trip in the first episode language-wise, or her struggles later on in trying to become tolerant of some idiosyncratic food (lol cheese) to help prepare meals for her housemates better.  As someone who’s fairly hesitant to abruptly change things, as well as someone only having been outside of his country once years before with family in tow, Yune’s courage was impressive.

And adorable. Her courage was adorable.

And adorable. Her courage was adorable.

Continue reading ‘Anime Secret Santa 2013: Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth’

Horizon on the edge of endurance

by dm00

tl;dr: You can find in a work what you go looking for.  When I wrote off Horizon on the middle of nowhere as fanservice fluff, friends suggested that there was more there.  I went looking, and was surprised at what I found.

If you’ve found your way to this blog backwater, you’ve probably seen the Blinded by the Tits project*. When I first looked at Horizon on the middle of nowhere, I made the same mistake as the titterers — I assumed that with its character designs, the series was putting its sole asset up front, that there was no substance behind those designs. Like the titterers, I didn’t even bother with a single episode of the series.

Friends, whose taste I trust, told me the series was better than that.  So I set aside my prejudices and took a look at it. This led to Horizon becoming one of my favorite series of the past few years. I’ve found subtlety and creativity in the series that I think rivals shows like Kaiba, Tatami Galaxy, and Mawaru Penguindrum.
Continue reading ‘Horizon on the edge of endurance’

Madoka Magica and the Weight(lessness?) of Expectations

By TheBigN

Given the amount of coverage this blog has had with this show, this won’t be the last you’ll hear from us for sure. Spoilers obviously abound here. Continue reading ‘Madoka Magica and the Weight(lessness?) of Expectations’

The Trump Cards Nichijou Holds For Me

By TheBigN

I was planning on watching Nichijou anyway, since the premise of the show with their comedic focus tends to be stuff that pique my interest. After watching the first episode, the humor is more or less hit or miss (more hit than miss so far), but the pacing of those jokes are quick enough that if one joke doesn’t work, it’s alright because it’s over quickly and chances the are that the next joke will be funny. The jokes and the characters themselves if you take them as they are so far won’t make this a memorable work for me, since as others have said, the concept has been done over and over again. That being said, what’s more important is less the fact that they reuse ideas, but how it’s done. In that sense, presentation plays a big part in our reception to this apparent variation of a “standard”, and Nichijou has those for me in the show’s animation and background music. Continue reading ‘The Trump Cards Nichijou Holds For Me’

ARIA Volume 6 Chapter Log

By TheBigN

I figured that for the Manga Moveable Feast (if it accepts this article), which focuses on AQUA/ARIA this month of March, rather than write a general impression on the volume, I would do a quick impression for each of the chapters in this volume, and try not to spoil in the process. Granted, if you don’t know of the world of Neo Venezia in the first place, this would probably be of no help to you. But some of the articles in the main MMF link will do a good job of filling in that blank. And this blog might also have some pieces lying around that can also help. The general theme is that AQUA/ARIA is relaxing, mysterious, and enjoyable if you sit back, read the story, and just experience it all.

Continue reading ‘ARIA Volume 6 Chapter Log’

Secret Santa Post: Thoughts on Princess Tutu

Quoth the Raven: “In the name of love, What more in the name of love…”

Or something like that.

Princess Tutu was an interesting watch for me. Though it was one of the titles I filed into the back of my mind as “stuff that I should probably watch” for years, it took outside intervention in the form of the Reverse Thieves’ Secret Santa Project for me to do so. When watching it, I was initially disoriented with the storybook setting where the fantastic and realistic combined, though it was an interesting premise. And it was hard for me to get into it at the start, especially with how Ahiru is portrayed as someone who isn’t good at stuff/only just a duck. I did think that her motive of becoming a magical girl was better focused than other shows with that motif. But what I did get at the start of the show was that Drosselmeyer was a creepy bastard, and that remained as such throughout the entire run, so hey.

The one in charge and he knows it.

The one in charge and he knows it.

Continue reading ‘Secret Santa Post: Thoughts on Princess Tutu’

Maria Holic- Pander Spectacular or/and Something Mo(r)e?


By Nomad (Needs more Bookshelves) Otto


So, I’ve been rather busy with Grad School recently, blah blah. I’ll save you the Fred-isms, and start moving towards the point. Anyway, Shinbo makes a lot of crazy stuff, most of which I really like. Recently, he’s just been the director on MariaHolic, another moe-focused comedy-romance set at a school. But there’s always the twist, and, in this case, it’s that it’s set in an all-girls catholic school, and the main character is female, as are all of the potential love interests.  Obviously, it’s intended to appeal to people with a certain purient interest.   You could probably make a show off of less of the humor, less of the weird Shinbo-ism, and well, less plot (zing, Marmite!). The question is if there’s anything to be gained from Maria Holic other than the indulgence of that particular interest and a couple of cheap laughs?


Nomad Prepares to Bare it All

Nomad Prepares to Bare it All

Continue reading ‘Maria Holic- Pander Spectacular or/and Something Mo(r)e?’

Oh Father, where art thou?

by Nomad (Buy Dapper Dan Haircream) Otto

I was originally going to write something pointing a finger at the virgin/mother/whore trichotomy you find in a lot of work, even those things written by women. Then I realized that I don’t really have anything to SAY about it, other than “look, it’s this weird thing. You may now shower me with gifts.” On the other hand, when I was thinking about this topic, something else occurred to me, and that’s that the father figure in…. basically every show I’ve seen in a good, long while is either absent (either physically, as in, they’re not around, or emotionally, as in, you occasionally see them, but they have no real influence over the lives of their progeny) or bad (sleezy, corrupt, manipulative, or otherwise a jackass).  Especially considering that Japan is a very male-dominate society, and that anime/manga is a very male-dominated  hobby, you’d expect that an important relation in the lives of the characters would be the bond between fathers and sons. This post is designed to look at the issue, both from the literary standpoint and the social standpoint, and, then, will degenerate into crushing irrelevance. Join me for it, won’t you?

ahahahah, suck it batman, my dad isn't dead (......for a while)!

ahahahah, suck it batman, my dad isn't dead (......for a while)!

Continue reading ‘Oh Father, where art thou?’

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The Good Old Days

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