Winter 2018 Preview I.

I would like to watch eight anime series from the 48 airing this winter. (I’m excluding 18+ titles.) I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to keep up with all of them, because of other responsibilities (aka school and work), but I sure am going to try.

Today I will go over three of them – their source manga (it just so happened that all six are manga adaptations), synopsis, promotional videos and art et cetera. Cutting to the chase, today you can read about: Mitsuboshi Colors, Kokkoku and Dagashi Kashi 2. Continue reading

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Looking Back: 2017

The end of the year is near, I’m on a studying break for a bit and will only go into work for two more days this year. That is also an explanation for my recent absence — exam season and a retail job before Christmas. (For fellow students: I just finished 100 Days of Productivity, a tumblr challenge, where you study every day for 100 days.)

2018 will be the year of the dog.
by RiE

Anyway, Lauren over at her blog, Otaku Journalist, wrote up some questions to help bloggers with their yearly review. I won’t answer all of them (publicly), but I did want to touch upon the first one specifically.

What made up your body of work this year? Which parts are you most proud of?

If you’ve been around for a year (or longer), you might have noticed there have been two different blogging periods this year. Continue reading

Hiding Your Power Levels

I suppose I should preface this (once again) image-heavy post with a piece of personal information – I do not flaunt my love for anime. Nevertheless, although I thought it virtually impossible, at least one fellow otaku saw though my disguise. I hide my power levels.

I had this rice bowl on a badge. Can you spot the reference?

“Hiding your power levels” is a phrase taken from Dragon Ball Z, closely related to “It’s over 9000!” In essence:

Hiding one’s Power Level involves not letting anyone know about your chosen hobby, or at least not letting on that you’re so, well… fluent in it. It means not wearing that anime/My Little Pony/furry/whatever shirt out in public. It means downplaying your involvement in said hobby when people ask.

by Pike at The Android’s Closet

If you’ve been following my personal outbursts on this blog, you know I have been rather involved in the community for a while. Meet me at a convention and you would say I was dragged there by force. Enough about me though. I meant to show you some wallpapers so you could also hide your power levels!

Continue reading

Kino’s Journey: Tower Country

Because the new Kino is airing this season, I’ve been inspired to (re)watch the older pieces. I started with the side story Tower Country, also called episode 00. It’s barely 14 minutes long, but that’s enough for us to see everything that’s interesting about the Tower Country. Yes, there’s not much.

For those who don’t know: Kino’s Journey is about Kino’s journeys. Kino travels on a talking motorcycle called Hermes, spending three days in every country and observing whatever brought them there.

Kino

In this country its inhabitants have built a tall tower that gets lost among the clouds. Each and every citizen works towards one single goal – to build the tower. No one knows why, though. It’s just their job to build the tower. Continue reading

Soul Eater Not! 4-7: screenshots

The very first draft of this post was called “soul eater not again.” Now people tell me I don’t have a sense of humor, but that headline made me smile. It’s Soul Eater Not! combined with Not Again!

…that was much funnier at 2 AM with my brain running on caffeine.

Getting to the point now, I have once again (3.5 years after my Soul Eater Not! 1-3: notes and screenshots post) collected a small array of screenshots while watching Soul Eater Not! Continue reading

Doai Underground Trainstation

I enjoy anime which teach me something. For example, fairly recently there have been several cooking anime. I loved learning about traditional Japanese cuisine in Sushi and Beyond or foods from all around the world in Shokugeki no Souma. Nevertheless as a future civil engineer I appreciate architectural trivia the most.

For me the most memorable detail from the “cute girls climbing mountains” anime, Yama no Susume, wasn’t any of the natural wonders they visited, but the Doai underground station where the girls get off the train when climbing Mount Tanigawa. Unlike most viewers I already knew of the station having seen it in a yet another anime I’ll also be drawing information from today. Tetsuko no Tabi is about a train enthusiast and a hard-to-impress mangaka traveling around Japan visiting interesting railway stations and making a manga about it. One day I might write about some of the other amazing stations they visit, but today I want to tell you about the Doai station.

Yama no Susume 2 episode 21

Continue reading

Vodyanoy in The Ancient Magus’ Bride

This post is about the traditional vodyanoy, a creature from Slavic folklore. It was inspired by the mention of it in 魔法使いの嫁 [まほうつかいのよめ, mahoutsukai no yome, The Ancient Magus’ Bride].

Angelica’s familiar, Hugo, is supposed to be a vodyanoy. In his case, that pretty much means a water spirit. But the traditional ones aren’t like that.

водяно́й, вадзянік, водяник, wodnik, vodník, vodnik, vodanoj, podvodni mož, водењак, Вутăш

先ず [まず, mazu, first of all] they are no fairies. Continue reading

君の名は。|Your Name

Makoto Shinkai’s sixth movie came out! It premiered on July 3, 2016 at Anime Expo and came out on Blu-ray on July 26, 2017. Yes, that was over three months ago.

I do realize I’m rather late to the party, but let’s get started anyway. As always, this review is meant for readers who have already seen the film.

Based on Shinkai’s novel of the same name published a month before the film’s premiere, Your Name tells the story of a high school girl in rural Japan and a high school boy in Tokyo who swap bodies.

The film achieved the second-largest gross for a domestic film in Japan, behind Spirited Away, and the fourth-largest ever, behind (Spirited Away,) Titanic and Frozen.

The light novels are available in English. (Alas, I haven’t been able to get my grubby hands on them. Reason: お金 [おかね, okane, money].) The one called simply your name. supposedly tells the exact same story as the movie. It might offer some additional insight, that didn’t fit in the film, but basically it’s the same thing. The second LN, your name. Another Side:Earthbound, is a side story.

Another by-product of the film is the soundtrack. It is amazing. I mean, I’m pretty amusical, but these tunes are so memorable, I can recognize them, which is saying a lot. (If you’ve been wondering why I usually don’t review the music in anime, this is my reason – I just don’t find them interesting at all.)

Besides the noteworthy music, I have to share another impression it left on me. I cried. As in hot, wet tears. It’s so touching! Even the second time.

One last thing before I delve into my screenshot-heavy review. If you have watched it, do watch it again. And again. This movie has a high rewatch value. You’ll see so many dots connecting from the first seconds until the finale.

Continue reading

Yuri Kuma Arashi and M. C. Escher

In episode 7 of ユリ熊嵐 [ユリくまあらし, Yuri Kuma Arashi, Lily Bear Storm], you may have noticed this pretty pattern on the glass.

yurikumaarashi7

The negative space between the 鳥 [とり, tori, birds] morphs into 百合 [ゆり, yuri, lilies]. It’s a beautiful transformation. Now, the team behind ユリ熊嵐 is very creative, but here I think it’s a reference. After all the anime is chock-full of references.

MC-Escher-Sky-and-Water-I-1938

This is a woodcut by M. C. Escher from 1938, where the white space between geese morphs into fish. It definitely looks similar, doesn’t it?

M. C. Escher did a large number of these “transformation prints.” To see some more visit the website of the M. C. Escher Foundation and M. C. Escher Company.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star

This is a review of the three episode OVA, that aired Sep 10, 2016 to Sep 9, 2017. I’ve been told it takes place at a different time than the currently airing series (although MyAnimeList calls the OVA a prequel to the series), so there should be no spoilers. Of course there will be spoilers for the OVA.

先ず [まず, mazu, firstly] I want to look at the title 魔法使いの嫁 – Mahoutsukai no Yome. 魔法使い [まほうつかい, mahoutsukai] literally means magic user. So anything from charmer, conjurer and enchanter, through mage and magus to sorcerer and wizard is a valid translation. The only objection I have to the translation is that if it’s once translated as “the ancient magus,” then it shouldn’t be translated differently in other cases.

So, where did this anime come from? It’s adapted from a manga. It was originally serialized in 月刊コミックブレイド [げっかんコミックブレイド, Gekkan Komikku Bureido, Monthly Comic Blade], a 少年 [しょうねん, shounen, aimed at young males] magazine owned by Mag Garden from November 2014 to September 2014, when the magazine was replaced by 月刊コミックガーデン [げっかんコミックガーデン, Gekkan Komikku Gaaden, Monthly Comic Garden]. It has been published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment – the eighth volume is scheduled for next year. The manga seems to be ongoing though. Continue reading