Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club, Episode 2

Screenshot (1243).png

This week on Girls Gone Bike we’ve gotten through the initial introduction and are now being gradually introduced to the full cast. I like the speed at which this is going so far, and I’m happy the show still hasn’t given up its delightful slice of life aspects. The girls, primarily Hiromi, manage to get into silly predicaments that resolve fairly peacefully. Four of the five girls in the bike club have already been discovered, and while their motivations aren’t particularly strong, the way they’re drawn to cycling isn’t what needs to be compelling. The show builds itself up to be more about discovering the joy of cycling rather than jumping in to the professional level. It’s a sports anime that takes a much more laid back path, not relying on more commonplace “high stakes, high drama” approaches. And as a novice, I really like that a lot. Continue reading

Otaku in Anime: Kirino Kousaka

Screenshot (1227).png

In anime, I find the portrayals of Otaku to be quite fascinating. Often written by Otaku themselves, this personality trait that originally started in a derogatory sense (and still is to some) is now the most likely type of character to resonate with fans of anime (probably). It’s certainly one of my favorite characteristics, being that Otaku characters are more than just something to relate to: They are a means of which creators can show their understanding and admiration for genre and culture through. When written exceptionally, Otaku characters are a beautiful love letter not only to fans, but to the culture itself. While there is no definitively “right” or “wrong” way to write creatively, there are some Otaku characters out there that can be so poorly realized, it honestly begs the question “Was anime a mistake?”. But then you just shake it off and think “No. Anime wasn’t a mistake. Subaru from Re:Zero was a mistake”. But he’s not really what I’m here to talk about today. No, instead I’d like to focus my attention on an orange-haired girl from Oreimo. Continue reading

Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club, Episode 1

Screenshot (1203).png

Let’s cut right to the chase: Minami Kamakura High School Cycling Club is a ridiculously long name and I will not be referring to it as such in anything but the titles of my episodic reviews. Alternatively, I will be using what I believe to be a much more suiting name: Girls Gone Bike. If a better nickname for this show decides to present itself sometime in the future (although I doubt one will), I am open to changing what I call it. Until then, here is episode 1. Continue reading

Anime of the Year 2016

Screenshot (1184).png

(It’s not Yuri!!! On ICE)

Before I get into what I believe to be the “Anime of the Year 2016”, I’d like to give honorable mentions and also point out a disqualification. March Comes in Like a Lion is exceptional, but it was not in the consideration for this prestigious award because its season was not contained within 2016. The show is a 22 episode run that goes right into 2017, and so it will be eligible for nomination in that year rather than the year it started airing. As for honorable mentions, I’d be remiss not give Flip Flappers, Sound! Euphonium 2, and Yuri!!! On ICE some much deserved shout outs. They are all fantastic in their own ways and worthy of my recommendation. Continue reading

Final Thoughts on Anime Fall 2016

March Comes in Like a Lion

Screenshot (1080).png

A very beautiful and thoughtful show that has strange mouths for its characters, but I kinda like it that way. March Comes in Like a Lion handles the contrast of the different aspects of Rei’s life exceedingly well. You can really feel the stinging unpleasantness of Rei’s adoptive family through the dark imagery of his past and his interactions with Kyouka, who relentlessly pries into his life and fills his mind with cynical thoughts. On the flipside, his time spent with the Kawamoto family is almost excessively delightful, as shown by so many comically overdone bits like Hinata’s morning rush to prepare for school. The difference between Kyouka and the Kawamoto’s can be pretty accurately described with the context behind their smiles. While Kyouka offers only a sly grin fostered by years of cold, concentrated resentment, the smiles the Kawamoto household give off nothing but a sense of overwhelming warmth and compassion. As the show progresses we casually delve deeper into Rei’s past. While learning who Rei is and what he’s been through could be considered the primary reason to follow through the story, his interactions with other characters is what really compels me to keep watching. Be it the tense situations or the blissfully comedic ones. Continue reading

A Flip Flappers Review

Screenshot (1182).png

This is a series that really had me going for a while. I knew almost nothing about Flip Flappers going in, and to my pleasant surprise, the show made me want to learn everything about it within a couple of episodes. It presented something that felt so fresh and original while also displaying an unspoken variation on that of which it was derived. Building off of magical girls in magical worlds, Flip Flappers reimagined what came before it with a heaping amount of playful ambiguity and managed to stay utterly engaging despite how thoroughly confounding the show probably would’ve looked to be on paper. Continue reading

Anticipating Anime Winter 2017

Screenshot (1166).png

With the new year comes a new anime season, and thanks to the great lineup I had the pleasure of viewing last fall, I can’t help but brace for disappointment this coming winter. There doesn’t look to be as many heavy hitters this season, and out of the six shows I’ve been eyeing so far, only two of them can be considered safe bets. Still, I’d like to share with you my plans for this season and leave myself open to suggestions, as I’m also looking for an anime to review episodically. Hopefully this winter works out well for me, because I’m basically taking four shots in the dark. But on the bright side, if things don’t work out, I still have a vast backlog to dip into. Continue reading