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Jan 15, 2019

A blasé boy stands on a bridge, overlooking the ocean. Licentious thoughts pervade his mind, eager to be breathed to life, articulated so nonchalantly to whatever girl latches onto him. The aggressive one; the pariah at school who is spoken about in hushed voices that dart in and out of student’s mouths, settling at the breach between tact and uncivility. The boy views himself as an outsider and relates to this pariah, her plight is his own and due to that, he feels indebted to her. An ethereal toll which he must pay in order to regain a semblance of self-worth. But this outsider--this vagabond--edging read more
Oct 30, 2018

Years ago, I took my first steps into my college dormitory. It was beige, undecorated, and musty, one of the many dorms that stood side-by-side in the repurposed theatre building. I felt numb, barely recalling the goodbye I uttered to my parent’s moments ago. A nervous mother, a proud father, an anxious grandmother, each face ushering me into a new world, one without their support. I remembered my previous graduating class of seven students and how poorly my high school prepared me for my new class of hundreds. I remembered how familiar everything felt, and how comfortable I was just last night.

Chihiro is similar read more
Aug 8, 2018

We wage war that tears down walls and buildings brick by brick, as our own inventions create and destroy. We put roofs over our heads only to light them ablaze. We create a hierarchy only to rebel against it. It's an endless coil, a snake eating its tail, feasting on the notion of betterment. If we dismantle our creations enough times and iterate upon them, surely we will reach that stretching plateau of perfection that our own ideology believes in. Yet once the dust and soot settle, we can only regret our impulsivity, our misunderstanding; the ladder of progress we eagerly climb is infinite, and read more
Jul 29, 2018
FLCL (Anime) add (All reviews)

You're twelve. Impatient enough to zone out before class even starts. Eager to go watch the clouds. After all, doing nothing is better than doing something. The teacher goes on, their voice joining those clouds in the sky, out of sight out of mind. You've been noticing yourself change. Things look darker, sharper, maybe it's the weather, but the perpetual smog overcast on your insides doesn't seem to be clearing. A rainstorm over your ribs, ice coating your heart, hail pouring onto your liver, fog building around your intestines, a tornado forming in your-- Wait. Are the girl's skirts getting shorter or is it just read more
Jul 7, 2018

Art is born on a bed of nails. It comes from discomfort. A place that is the opposite of complacency. A wide-eyed child that cries in pain. It forms to fit a mold and that mold is then inducted into our society. Accepted for being palatable. Then you can look to a child that isn’t molded perfectly, one that deviates just enough from the norm to be appreciated by both societies’ most stern contributors as well as the rebellious cynics who are sick of the banal grind.

Much like the television industry, contorting and fitting a mold is necessary to be accepted by the masses. Express read more
Jul 1, 2018
Sometimes you are better off leaving your expectations low and not getting enraptured into something too quickly. For someone that has watched a lot of television and film, I still haven’t broken the habit of brushing my cynicism aside when I see something exceptionally well made. Whether it be the first episode of Kill la Kill, which is vibrant, eccentric, and perfectly paced, or the hook in Nichijou, as we witness a well-known anime cliché get upturned in its opening sequence, setting lofty expectations for the series. The point here is, when a show gives you everything in its opening, you either buy into read more
May 18, 2018

Behold first love. A first kiss. A tender touch. Without it, we would cease to grow. A metaphoric stomping on roots. Painted through cliche, breathing through understatements. Each veteran, wandering eye gazing down at innocence and wishing to relive moments missed. Missed through longing or melancholy. A bittersweet visage of young love remarked dismissively by jaded tongues. If only my own wasn't so jaded.

These moments, mandatory, yet romanticized. It's in the genre, after all. Yet that's so often the failure. Perfection is wanted, but only through shallow wishes. Wanting perfection in a relationship is like wanting world peace. An empty claim that flirts with ignorance read more
Apr 23, 2018
Akira (Anime) add (All reviews)

Over one Billion Yen. Ten million dollars. This was the price the industry paid to create timeless animation. This was the toll Katsuhiro Otomo paid to adapt almost two thousand pages of his magnum opus. One which he struggled to finish. Every page taking more time than the last. Each penstroke weighing heavier on his hand. All culminating in a dinner with Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of El Topo and The Holy Mountain, as he was coming off the heels of Sante Sangre. The dinner is what eventually made Otomo close the final chapter to Akira.

Yet this was two years after the release of the read more
Apr 11, 2018

Present Time - Present Day

Ironic. Serial Experiments Lain isn't timeless. In fact, it bathes in its own time. You can make parallels to the lives we live, the wired culture which we indulge in. Perpetual connectedness. Forever trapped in the screens in front of us. Yet Lain is a product of its own time. The late 90s when, instead of Y2K, Japan was drenched in its own fear. The horror of technology. How it grows, evolves, enraptures, and swallows. The technophobe culture which Lain overtly commented on is the very culture that no longer exists to the same extent today. We accept technology as it read more
Apr 4, 2018

Filters, dolls, and grooming children Woody Allen style, the somewhat contentious Violet Evergarden attempts to do so much. From the precise, focused presentation by Kyoto Animation's art team to the messy, bloated, and ugly narrative, there is a lot to consume within the series. A lot to consume, but not a lot to digest. Like an airy, mediocre castella cake, it slips into your mouth with an initial hint of sweetness but once you really begin chewing it is just a piece of soft, bland bread.

With KyoAni's dark horse in the director's chair struggling desperately to milk every ounce of emotion from this series, read more