Notes on Takunomi.

I wrote about Takunomi in my second Winter 2018 preview post.

This is the “women drinking at home” anime. It’s also adapted from a manga, but I haven’t read even a chapter. Nevertheless, what am I expecting from this? A healing, relaxing anime with working women and beer and snacks. It’s only 15-minutes per episode too.

It ended up being less than 15 minutes and not just beer, but alcohol in general. Still my expectations of an 癒し系 [いやしけい, iyashikei, healing] anime were fulfilled.

From the left: Michiru, Nao, Kae, Makoto.

Among what I’ve been watching, Takunomi was a breath of fresh air—young female professionals doing grownup things. In this aspect it was reminiscent of Shirobako. That was a great show. I feel like there hasn’t been a similar one since. Nothing exceptional at least. Although, maybe Hisone and Maso-tan will fill this hole? I plan on watching that.

Returning to Takunomi, it’s definitely nothing special, but it sure was relaxing. Continue reading

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あまんちゅ!約束の夏と新しい思い出のコト | Amanchu! OVA

This OVA is a direct sequel to the first season of Amanchu! It came out over a year ago, but I only watched it this April, when I was readying myself to watch the second season, Amanchu! Advance, which aired in the spring.

As always, beware of spoilers!

Akane (left) and Chizuru (right) arriving at Izu-kogen Highlands.

The premise is very simple. Futaba/Teko’s two closest friends from the city come to visit her. Chizuru is jealous of Hikari/Pikari and lets that spoil most of her visit. (Even though Pikari’s grandma warns her in a way. Listen to your elders.) In an apology that leaves nobody wondering what happened, she accepts that Futaba/Teko can have other friends and be happy with them. Continue reading

What is “Young Animator Training Project”?

Have you ever heard of Anime Mirai? Or Anime Tamago? Or one of the 32 shorts that were born through the Young Animator Training Project? You might not know it, but you probably have.

Young Animator Training Project is an annual project launched in 2010, and funded by the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs in order to support training animators. The project culminates in a series of anime shorts produced by various animation studios each year.

The project was launched by Japanese Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) in 2010. The animation labor group received 214.5 million yen (about US$2.27 million) from the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, and it distributed most of those funds to studios to train young animators on-the-job during the year. One of the reasons for the support of the Agency for Cultural Affairs is the concern that more of the Japanese animation process is being outsourced overseas—thus leading to a decline in opportunities to teach animation techniques within Japan. In 2011 the Agency once again provided funding for JAniCA to select more young training projects under the same budgets.

–Wikipedia

When the project was introduced in 2010, it was called Project A. 2011 through 2015 it was called Anime Mirai—that’s when I heard about it. Since then the name has changed to Anime Tamago.

Anyway, why am I writing about it? I plan on writing about all eight past years of this project. Every year there are four shorts, so I have eight four-in-one reviews in mind.

To entice you a little more, let me mention that this summer’s 音楽少女 [おんがくしょうじょ, Ongaku Shoujo, Music Girls] originated in an Anime Mirai 2015. The series’ first episode aired the day before yesterday, July 6th, 2018. Little Witch Academia went through the same process.

Look forward to it!

こみっくがーるず | Comic Girls: 4-6

I’m back with more Comic Girls. We watched three more episodes and there were some moments I’d like to point out. As always there will be spoilers for episodes 4 through 6. (Read my notes on episodes 1 to 3.)

The fourth episode focuses on Ruki—first her deadline is coming up and then she scores her first signing. The rush up to the deadline while going to school tires Ruki out and there’s some fanservice based off that. Continue reading

夏目友人帳 陸 特別編 | Natsume’s Book of Friends 6 Specials

Although I haven’t seen the sixth season yet, I watched the specials. Not like it matters much with Natsume’s Book of Friends, since the episodes are usually stand-alone stories.

As always I will spoil the anime, so be sure to watch it first! It’s only 46 minutes including OP and ED.

The Stump of the Ringing Tree

A hundreds-years-old ginkgo tree had been cut down in the neighboring town. Natsume and Nyanko-sensei meet the spirit of the tree while going to buy sweets. The spirit is soon to leave this world, but knows he’s forgetting a promise. Continue reading

こみっくがーるず | Comic Girls: 1-3

Comic Girls is a yet another cute-girl-doing-cute-things anime. This time the topic is manga. The main character is Kaos-chan, a budding 漫画家 [まんがか, mangaka, Japanese comic artist]. Following her failures as a yonkoma (I swear that post is coming) 漫画家 her editor suggests she moves into her publisher’s dormitory for fledgling female artists.

From the left: Ruki, Koyume, Kaos and Tsubasa

As always I’m not only looking for something to soothe my soul. I’m hoping to learn more about manga creation, as I’m interested in all things art. Continue reading

すすめ, カロリーナ. | Susume, Karolina.

I enjoy art of all kinds and because of that follow quite a number of artists. One of them is Matheusz Urbanowicz, a polish artist who lives in Japan and draws amazing (mostly) watercolor scenery. While Mattō himself is an interesting topic, today I want to introduce you to his latest creation, Susume, Karolina.

Susume, Karolina. is a three-minute animation about Karolina Styczyńska, the first foreign (as in non-Japanese) female, who was able to become a professional shogi (Japanese chess) player.

It was written and directed by Mateusz Urbanowicz, who also did the backgrounds. The music was handled by Hanukkah Nakamura and the rest of the animation was done by Studio Colorido of Fumiko’s Confession. The sponsor is CalorieMate balanced food.

Please watch the video—preferably twice, the first time without captions to take in the beauty and the second time with the captions, in which Karolina explains the scenes.

Continue reading

Notes on Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san

I wrote about this anime in my last preview post. Since back then I had already watched the first episode, I included some first impressions:

[…] so far it copies the manga to a T, not adding any value, but not ruining it… what a letdown. The story is the same, the art style is the same, the OP is awful (I’m a CG-hater, burn me) and the colors are beautiful. After one episode, I don’t expect too much from this anime.

So, have my impressions changed? Not really. The following review includes spoilers! Continue reading

Kino’s Journey: Life Goes On

Life Goes On (2005) is another prequel to the original Kino’s Journey series (2003). Yes, it aired after the original series, but it’s a prequel. As always this is a review meant for otaku, who have seen the anime – there will be SPOILERS!

This 30-minute OVA is about Kino, the main character of Kino’s Journey, and the genesis of the identity we encounter in the other OVAs and series of this franchise. Kino, the little helpless girl, transforms into a self-sufficient young man under the guidance of her female 師匠 [ししょう, Shishō, Master]. Continue reading

Hashikko Ensemble: New Shimoku Kio Manga?!

I totally missed the memo back in November. Quoting from the ANN news post:

[…] January issue of Kodansha‘s Afternoon magazine announced three new manga series and a long one-shot manga […]

[…] Genshiken‘s Shimoku Kio will launch a manga tentatively titled Hashikko Ensemble in the April issue on February 24. The story takes place at a technical high school. The protagonist, who has a voice complex, is approached by a classmate who wants to start a choir club.

Shimoku Kio is my favorite mangaka; I have read all of his manga and own all the Genshiken manga that has so far been published in English. Somehow I missed this though. Fortunately, an even bigger Shimoku Kio fan, Carl of Ogiue Maniax, brought the news to my attention. Thank you!

I hope it’s good!