Bakemonogatari – Episode 6

It’s time to begin Suruga Monkey! This was a bit of a transition episode, but still offered plenty to dig into regarding Araragi’s character, along with adding new wrinkles to his relationships with Senjougahara and Hanekawa. I’m almost surprised by how directly all this material reflects on Araragi’s fatal flaws – I’d expected that stuff to come up, but it feels like the focus even as we’re being initially introduced to the rest of the show’s main cast. For a show that’s rambled through over fifty episodes, Monogatari still feels like a pretty focused thing.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!

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Nichijou – Episode 25

Alright, two episodes left. I’ll be okay, probably – after all, from where I’m writing this, Nichijou is actually coming out on bluray in just about a week. I’ll consider it a sacred duty to watch the whole damn thing over again, hopefully while also hooking some of my housemates on it. Nichijou is a bizarre and precious gift, and now that I have seen the light, I will do my best to carry its torch into the dark corners of the world. Everyone must learn that the professor is good, and also to be careful about dogs. All must bear witness to the Nichijou flame.

Alright, that’s enough cultish adoration for now. Let’s burn this sucker down.

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Sword of the Stranger – Review

Today I got to review a real fun one! Sword of the Stranger pretty much always comes up in discussions of great anime films, and I can see why – it’s pretty much a perfect distillation of the Lone Stranger action film. The story’s barely there, but hoo boy is the action in this film beautiful, and that is most certainly the point. I had a great time with this one, and hope you enjoy the review!

Sword of the Stranger

Winter 2017 – Week 7 in Review

This week in anime was… not so good. In addition to Dragon Maid making its first legitimate missteps, there was also no Tanya, and apparently a week without Tanya pretty much instantly demonstrates that this season is resting on the thinnest of ice. There’s nothing like Flip Flappers here for me to constantly gush over – Rakugo is great, but it doesn’t really enchant or speak to me in the way my true favorites do. In the absence of Tanya (and with me having dropped ACCA for the moment), I’ve been forced to watch a bunch of Kemono Friends, the show about cute animal-girls who clip through their surroundings because their CG is so bad. It’s a rough time out there. Stay safe, everybody.

Alright, enough doom and gloom. Let’s get right to it and run this week down!

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Casshern Sins – Episode 9

And we’re back to Casshern Sins! Last episode presented one more glimmer of hope, in the form of the singer Janice. More than just giving Casshern something new to care about, Janice offered him something he’d never had before – a reason to fight. Janice’s questions solidified one of Casshern’s core contradictions: he is designed to fight and destroy, but he has no interest in doing such things. Because of this, Casshern’s natural programming only tends to kick in when he’s in such personal danger his circuits won’t allow otherwise. But if Casshern could actually find something worth defending, something to fight for that could last like he does, he might arrive at some sort of peace.

That said, we’re only eight episodes in, so I’m expecting a whole lot more suffering before Casshern finds anything that might fit the bill. So let’s get right to it!

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Volume 4 – Review

Welp, fell a bit behind in my Magus reviews, so here we are. The manga is maintaining a strong balance of fantastical digressions and sturdy character-focused material, and continuing to have a solid grip on the compelling weirdness of Chise and Elias’ relationship. I’m pretty happy with my review of this one, so head on over and check it out!

The Ancient Magus Bride, Volume 4

March comes in like a lion – Episode 18

March returned to its usual level of execution this week, but was still a generally good time, and still had a couple nice visual highlights. Shimada continues to be a remarkably welcome addition to the cast, to the point where he already feels like one of the main characters. I’m still looking forward to whenever Rei actually visits the sisters again, though, and am guessing Akari will have some interesting words for him next week.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Seiren – Episode 7

I had virtually nothing to gawk at in this week’s Seiren, which was certainly a change of pace. Instead, this was just a remarkably grounded and overall successful slice of adolescent romance – understandable conflicts, multidimensional characters, and satisfying resolutions. I was pretty surprised! I certainly don’t mind, though – if Seiren permanently jumps from a weird oddity to a reasonable show, I’d be very happy.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

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Why It Works: Dragon Maids and Magical Realism

For this week’s Why It Works I returned to Maidragon, and dug into the specific kind of fantasy world the show presents. Magical realism is actually one of my favorite kinds of fantasy, and though its greatest exemplar in anime is likely The Eccentric Family, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is pretty great too. I hope you enjoy the piece!

Why It Works: Dragon Maids and Magical Realism

Natsume’s Book of Friends – Episode 3

Natsume himself is the focus of this third episode. As we open, twilight colors and suburban sprawl return us to Natsume’s childhood, as he cries over his strangeness beneath a playground slide. As he laments his isolation, a girl comes up to console him, and asks the question he most wants to hear: “can you see them too?” Perhaps Natsume is not so alone after all.

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