Why It Works: A Worlds Tour of Flip Flappers, Part One

I’m still crushed under preview week at the moment, but the Why It Works show must go on! Unsurprisingly, I’m sending off the fall season with a two-part episode on Flip Flappers’ various mindscapes. It becomes much harder to map these worlds to specific characters as the show goes on, but they all reflect Cocona in their own ways, so I think I’ll manage. Here’s the piece!

Why It Works: A Worlds Tour of Flip Flappers, Part One

Why It Works: Sound! Euphonium’s Tempestuous Muse, Part Two

Today I return to Euphonium for the second half of my column on Asuka Tanaka! This one offers a bunch of close reading of her scenes all throughout the second season, because why not, Asuka’s great. She’s definitely one of my favorite characters of the year, and I’m very happy Why It Works offered me a chance to explore her wonderful characterization. Asuka may be kind of a jerk, but she’s our jerk.

Why It Works: Sound! Euphonium’s Tempestuous Muse, Part Two

Sound! Euphonium

Why It Works: Sound! Euphonium’s Tempestuous Muse, Part One

At last, I’m aiming a Why It Works post at Sound! Euphonium’s second season. I’ve been reviewing the hell out of this show for ANN, so it’s been hard to think of topics I haven’t already covered for Crunchyroll. But Asuka Tanaka clearly deserves many more words, and so here we are. Part One covers her understated sprinkling of characterization from the first season, where we basically only learn about her feelings in the context of unrelated conflicts. While I was certainly happy to see her get direct focus in the second season, the work done in the first is impressive as well. As I’ve said before, Asuka is a character who’s remarkably well-suited to a Kyoto Animation production – hiding her true feelings behind pleasantries and snark, the show’s close focus on body language and framing is instrumental in bringing her character to life. I hope you enjoy the piece!

Why It Works: Sound! Euphonium’s Tempestuous Muse, Part One

Why It Works: Sculpting Worlds with Studio Pablo

Alright, so this oneĀ technically isn’t another Flip Flappers article – it instead focuses on Studio Pablo specifically, whose gorgeous background art lends the show so much of its power. But Pablo aren’t only associated with Flip Flappers, meaning I got to have a lot of fun digging around through their history to find even more highlights of their work. As someone who often appreciates shows for their mastery of tone more than anything else, background art is pretty dang important to me. I hope you enjoy the piece!

Why It Works: Sculpting Worlds with Studio Pablo

Flip Flappers

Why It Works: Flip Flappers’ Fearful Symmetry

Couldn’t keep myself away from Flip Flappers, as it turns out. The Why It Works articles are actually very well-suited for exploring the show, since its ideas are all relevant across episodes, and so it’s handy to analyze single threads that have carried between them. This time I talk about the show’s use of visual symmetry, which essentially expands on my earlier writing about the show’s generally stellar visual storytelling. Take a look!

Why It Works: Flip Flappers’ Fearful Symmetry

Flip Flappers

Why It Works: March comes in like a lion Explains Shogi

Hello again! For this week’s Why It Works, I focused on a roughly three minute scene from the latest March, and basically unpacked it into an investigation of Rei’s personality and the nature of teaching and media salesmanship. It’s always nice when some offhand element of a show gestures towards a larger topic like this, and I had a bunch of fun writing this one. I hope you enjoy the piece!

Why It Works: March comes in like a lion Explains Shogi

March comes in like a lion

Why It Works: Girlish Number’s Insult Crossfire

On this week’s Why It Works, I finally found an angle for digging in to Girlish Number, one that basically highlights the show’s favorite things – insults and character writing. Girlish Number isn’t a fantastic show, but it certainly has strengths worth talking about! Hopefully next season offers some reasonable critical fodder – I’m already wondering exactly how I’m gonna fill my column without JoJo to always lean back on. Oh wait, Rakugo is coming back, nevermind. There’s always something to cover!

ANYWAY. This article’s about Girlish Number. I hope you enjoy it. Here’s the piece!

Why It Works: Girlish Number’s Insult Crossfire

Girlish Number

Why It Works: Flip Flappers’ Unspoken Stories

I was back to Flip Flappers again this week, discussing how so much of Flip Flappers’ larger storytelling beats are mostly relegated to imagery and background noise. While I enjoyed Flip Flappers from the start, I’ve only been feeling more impressed by its storytelling as the episodes pile up. If its second half is as strong as its first, it could easily stand as one of this year’s lasting anime highlights.

Why It Works: Flip Flappers’ Unspoken Stories

Flip Flappers

Why It Works: JoJo’s Equal-Opportunity Drama

I took a few weeks away for the start of the fall season, but I couldn’t stay away from JoJo for long. This week I go into another of JoJo’s general-purpose strengths – the way it’s so genuinely invested in not-so-thrilling adventures that it drags the audience along as well. It’s pretty much a constant for JoJo, but I figured a week where Kira faced down a cat-plant was as good a time as any to discuss it!

Why It Works: JoJo’s Equal-Opportunity Drama

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Why It Works: FLIP FLAPPERS’ Lonely World of Windows and Doors

The nice thing about working for ANNĀ and Crunchyroll is that I get to be as greedy as I want when it comes to writing about shows. Sure, I’ve already got three great anime over at ANN, but why should Flip Flappers have to be left out? So this week I return to Flip Flappers, and talk about some of the neat details used to construct Cocona’s internal world. I hope you enjoy it!

Why It Works: FLIP FLAPPERS’ Lonely World of Windows and Doors

Flip Flappers