Posted in 2018, analysis, Anime, Challenges, Ruminated Scrawling

Zombie Land Saga: The first idol anime I’ve ever tried #12daysofanime

Today I will write briefly about this series that I started late in the season but have come to enjoy greatly to the point that it is one of the four series that I have been watching the episodes the day they are released. This series is Zombie Land Saga. I didn’t even touch the first episode until a few weeks ago. Until then it just didn’t seem like a series that I would be interested in, mainly because its an idol anime and I tend not to find such series that enjoyable to watch. Idol anime are a dime a dozen and the majority of them have flat stereotypical characters and the standard sports anime plot where there is an idol group that is trying really hard to get better and they end up succeeding.

To be fair it is pretty difficult to write a series with such a large selection of diverse and interesting characters, but I still find that its not that they tried and failed. Instead the main cast is often a group of characters with cute designs who are less actual characters and more just waifu material. Also the idol industry in Japan is pretty exploitative so I tend not to be a fan of series where idols are the main focus.

Of course after hearing only good things about Zombie Land Saga I started watching it. The characters are all interesting and at least most of them have experienced some form of character development so far. There are still a couple of the main girls who have yet to have any development but that’s okay because I don’t think they have much room for character development when compared to the others. The writers of this series aren’t afraid to explore themes that are unfortunately rarely ever explored in a respectful manner in Japanese media. Lily was handled brilliantly. The animation is good. The music performances are diverse and interesting. 

This is a really good series and I recommend you watch it if you haven’t already started it. While this series may not get anime of the year award or get many if any awards at all (there have been a few really good series this year), it is at least on of my favourites from this season.

Posted in 2018, analysis, Anime, Challenges, Ruminated Scrawling

The Forest of Piano: The potential problems with creating a ‘genius’ character and how they are usually fixed #12daysofanime

In October I think, I watched the entire first season of this series on Netflix. The second season is supposed to be released in winter. As I was watching the series something was really bugging me about it. It wasn’t the CGI performance animations though those were awful. It wasn’t that the characters were unrealistic or that the music was bad.

After a while of thinking about it I came to the conclusion that my main problems with the series all stemmed from the main character, Ichinose Kai. I know that the series begins with Amamiya Shuuhei, but to be quite honest he is only there to show a different perspective of Kai. My problems with Kai are with the fact that he is a ‘genius’, and how he is treated/treats other because of it. He doesn’t seem to have any flaws and all the other characters love him in some way or another.

Now having other characters ‘love’ the genius is okay, but he is able to speak to other people so well that they end up respecting him greatly and in some cases he even becomes their role model. The only reason that any character hate on him is because of his upbringing, and even that doesn’t pose a problem for long because of his music instructor. The way he is depicted in the series makes the story less of an interesting story and more just a series of events.

‘Genius’ characters are hard to do correctly because characters who are too perfect are generally boring and unrealistic. In the stories that I have seen where a genius character is written well its mostly because the writer either gives them a flaw big enough to balance things out, or a major problem that impedes their growth unless it is solved. For instance Sherlock Holmes is a ‘genius’ detective who also has difficulty with people in general and has a drug addiction. In real life most geniuses have not been perfect and have been perfectly normal humans. In this case, Kai did not have such a flaw and he appears almost god-like to the other characters.

Of course I know that this series was adapted from a manga and that the story is probably better outside of the anime adaption. In fact I hope the manga is infinitely better than the anime. Maybe I’ll read it someday to find out. I just have to find a way to read it.

Posted in 2018, analysis, Anime, Challenges, Ruminated Scrawling

Consequences in Anime #12daysofanime

One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve watched countless series is the fact that often the actions of the main cast either don’t have consequences at all, the consequences don’t last all that long, or the consequences are done poorly. An example of my last point is in the first season of A Certain Magical Index which was really good up until this very specific point that I will not explain because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. After that point I just found myself becoming bored and annoyed of the series.

Anyways there are two series that have and are still doing the consequences of their characters actions really well. The first of these is My Hero Academia. Deku keeps ending up fighting strong foes and in order to combat these foes he has to use 100% of his power, however by using so much power Deku is essentially destroying his body. I like how you can still see the scars from his earlier battles in the shape of his hands and how that has influenced how his new fighting style works. I’m not too worried about spoiling this series because what I’ve just described happens in almost every shonen anime, the only difference is how the consequences of the fights are handled.

The other example I have is from Thunderbolt Fantasy which is still one of my favourite anime of all time despite not actually being an anime. This entire second season is all about the consequences of what the characters (Mainly the protagonist) do. The entire inciting incident of the season occurs because of what he does with the Sorcerous Index. All in all this season is just as good if not better than the first season, however it is also a different type of series.

I hope to see many series moving towards permanent and consistent consequences in the future.

Posted in 2018, analysis, Anime, Challenges

A Little Post on Bunny Girl Senpai #12daysofanime

Sorry for the late post. I was planning on finishing this up last night but the dungeons and dragons game I was in ran a little long and today I had to study for an exam. Anyways since I’m writing a post for different series that I have enjoyed throughout this year for this thing, here’s a quick post about one of the few series that I’ve been keeping up with this season.

That series is Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, or Bunny Girl Senpai as I like to call it because that name is far too long. With a name like that you would expect it to be some super fanservicey romance that hits all the cliches, however that is far from what this series is about. The series follows Sakuta Azusagawa as he goes through his second year of high school. One day he sees an older student in the library wearing a bunny costume. This is Mai Sakurajima and she has somehow become invisible to people outside of her school life. The most likely culprit is adolescence syndrome.

The thing that makes this series really stand out is he way it uses the mystical idea of adolescence syndrome to show real issues that teenagers face today. I have seen videos about how it is based off the Japanese idea of atmosphere and how sometimes it is better to go against it, however it is a big problem relating to Japanese culture it is not just a problem in Japanese high schools. Here in the west instead of “atmosphere” we have the need to be normal and a general reluctance to go against the social flow.

As I’ve been watching this series I found multiple of the problems that these characters are facing to be highly relatable. This is a series that I can tell has a purpose other than to simply entertain however that doesn’t detract from the story that is being told or the characters. If you haven’t already started watching Bunny Girl Senpai I highly recommend you pick it up.

Posted in 2018, Anime, Ruminated Scrawling

How I discovered Sound! Euphonium #12daysofanime

So while I’ve been on hiatus I’ve been watching some of the new seasonal series as well as watching some series that I’ve been meaning to watch. One of these is Hunter x Hunter which I will hopefully write a post about in the near future. One of the series that wasn’t on my list of series to watch was Sound! Euphonium, however after a series of random coincidences I ended up watching it.

First I heard it get mentioned in a video about how Violet Evergarden came to be and the people who worked on it. A couple of the animators from that series started off on the team that did Sound! Euphonium . One of the scenes that was used as an example of their past work was a scene that took place on top of a mountain between two characters. I watched the clip in the video and I thought it was beautiful, especially in the way that movement and light were used to show the feelings of these two characters.

I guess I sort of forgot about that and then I watched a review of Liz and the Blue Bird which is a movie about two of the characters from Sound! Euphonium getting ready to perform a musical duet with the concert band. This review also made me want to watch the series. 

However it wasn’t until last week when I clicked the random anime button on Crunchyroll and was given Sound! Euphonium that I actually started to watch it and I’ve really been enjoying it.

I guess  I misunderstood what this series is really about when I first saw it as it was originally coming out because this series has almost everything that I like about the stories I like. It has good animation, is a drama, and is focused around music. I am currently trying to learn how to play the violin because an anime made me realize how much I liked that instrument and I enjoy listening to musical performances. It has everything I like about sports anime which is the fact that the characters all strive to be better as a group and try to overcome their own problems at the same time. In addition to this I really like several of the characters including Asuka, Kumiko, and Mizore.

So yeah, though I’m still watching through all the episodes for the first time I can already tell that this will be one of my favourite series. I hope that I enjoy the rest of the series as much as I’ve enjoyed what I’ve watched so far.

Posted in 2018, Update Post

Hi! I’m blogging again!

So I’m ending my super long hiatus now I guess. Tomorrow I’ll be participating in the 12 days of aniblogging. For this I will be posting something about a series that I’ve watched over the past year, however I will not be posting any reviews. I don’t know if I will be posting reviews much from now on. Unless a series either amazes me or greatly disappoints me I tend not to have a whole lot to say about it so a lot of my reviews feel as though I’m writing the same thing over and over again. One thing I will be focusing on from now on is writing posts that either require me to think a lot, to do research, or both. Those are the posts I enjoy writing the most and my most popular posts on this blog are like that. For instance my most popular post is still that one I wrote two years ago about Atsushi Nakajima. So yeah, I hope you enjoy reading what I have to write.

Posted in 2018

How to Keep a Mummy (2018) anime review

Sora Kashiwagi’s father is a self-proclaimed adventurer who often sends him presents from his travels. Often these gifts are dangerous both to Sora’s health and the health of his sister, so when he finds a large package from his father in the mail he fears the worse. He opens it to find a coffin. While contemplating how to handle finding out what is inside, it opens from the inside. He is shocked to discover the last thing he expected, a tiny mummy. After learning that it wasn’t dangerous as all he decides to keep it, calling it Mii-kun.

The best part about this series is how cute it is. Everything that happens is cute in some way. The heartfelt episodes are cute. Everything is cute. The best part is that Mii-kun is not the only adorable creature in this series. There is the dog who is the single cutest dog I’ve ever seen in any anime, an oni-child who is less cute than the other creatures and seems to mainly be there for comedic effect, a tiny dragon who adorably just wants to help everyone out, and a small creature that eats dreams that is also cute despite how late in the series it was introduced. Each of the four main characters gets their own adorable creature. Each character has the best creature for who they are as a character. For instance Tazuki gets the oni-child which has similar personality traits to him. This adds to the series.

I recommend you watch this series if you love cute things, and to be fair who doesn’t. This series would have suffered if there was any more melodrama than there was. I actually wished I could see the creatures interacting with each other more because that bred a lot of really cute moments.

Final Rating – 46/50

Cute counter – 9