Today I took advantage of Crunchyroll’s Hero Week to rep some of the best goddamn shows of the last few years. Gatchaman Crowds, Samurai Flamenco, and Concrete Revolutio are all near and dear to my heart, so I was happy to get a chance to celebrate them, and hopefully turn a few more people on to some of the most compelling stories in recent memory. Everybody deserves a little Nice Justice in their life.
Today I finally dedicate an article to Benten, something long-time readers have presumably been waiting for all season. Look, My Hero Academia has been super good and fun to write about, I’ve been busy. I generally tend to favor the shows I’m not actively writing about for ANN over at Crunchyroll, but when it comes to general season-long topics like a character profile, Why It Works is a wonderful venue. Benten has certainly earned a spotlight article, and I hope this one does her justice. Please enjoy the piece!
This week on Why It Works, I found a very good excuse to fan out about Yutaka Nakamura’s kickass animation. His work on the Deku-Todoroki fight was both terrific and clearly emblematic of his recent output, and so it seemed like a perfectly good excuse to poke at his catalog and general style. I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to critiquing animation, but man, the guy can make some awesome scenes.
For this week’s Why It Works, I had fun with a pretty specific deep dive, poking at the various dramatic pillars that made Uraraka’s battle so interesting. My Hero Academia is pretty much bulletproof when it comes to shounen storytelling fundamentals, particularly in this arc, and so it hasn’t been all that hard to keep finding new topics to explore. A classic concept executed well is a very fine thing!
Today on Why It Works, I basically let myself geek out and do all that in-universe theorizing that really isn’t actually criticism. I’ve already read through the whole sports festival arc, but I tried to just rely on exactly what we know so far to inform this article, which meant my terrible memory actually came in handy for once. I really enjoy doing more flavor-focused articles, and I hope you all like them too!
Where do I even begin with Nichijou.
I could start with its technical merits, I suppose? Because the show certainly is technically meritorious. Where other Kyoto Animation highlights like Hyouka and Sound! Euphonium use their beautiful, well-observed character animation to present an illusion of heightened realism, Nichijou features a cast of simplified character designs and over-the-top motion. And that is the first element of its genius.
This week’s Why It Works offers a spotlight for Soun Ebisugawa, a true villain’s villain if there ever was one. Soun hasn’t really gotten much material yet this season, but his first appearance was a terrific scene, so I figured it’d be worth a highlight. I hope you enjoy the piece!
I returned to My Hero Academia this week, digging into the satisfying action fundamentals underlying its recent cavalry battle. This season has been an absolute joy so far, and the nature of the sports festival makes it just as fun to talk about. Here’s the piece!
For this week’s Why It Works, I dig into the established world of Sakura Quest, which is basically just the crumbling world we already live in. I’m not totally confident this show will ultimately go to interesting places with its narrative, but it’s certainly established a solid starting line. I hope you enjoy the piece!
The Eccentric Family posts start in earnest this week, opening with a piece bringing all those who missed the first season up to speed. Convincing an audience raised on titans and punch men to watch the second season of a slow-burning drama about the importance of family is a pretty tall order, but I gotta do what I can. The Eccentric Family deserves nothing less!