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Dec 20, 2014
If I told you this show was actually about the setting and not actually a magical girl show, would you believe me?

Fushigi Mahou Fun Fun Pharmacy is actually not the "typical" magical girl shows people would expect. It's an old-school little girl anime (and nobody really makes anime like this anymore). It's reminiscent of Tamako Market, a show not about the plot or characters but about the lively market atmosphere.

Some of the best episodes of Fun Fun Pharmacy involve the market people and Popuri's interactions with them. Of course, being an old school mahou shoujo and all, you do see silly magical and supernatural read more
Dec 28, 2013
Walking on the streets of Kobe one late night on the eve of Christmas has showed me wonderful sights: couples holding hands together, wispy white breaths from salarymen rushing past me, swinging leather briefcases and purses, glaring red and green lights, smiles, and the children who sneaked out at night to sing carols in that small corner right over there.

Of all the things that make Christmas what it is, this Kobe street is missing something. Not Santa Claus -- that large man with a huge belly donned in that trademark woolen clothing of his is crying out, "Hohoho~," in the wooden chair. Not Rudolf read more
Oct 28, 2013
"I want to shine." ― James Joyce, Dubliners

Why is Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home so good?

I was disappointed when I heard the movie was 66 minutes. Like seriously, a film in 66 minutes is weird. Hanasaku Iroha, the TV show, is a masterful telling of the stories. Okada Mari is one of the best series composers out there. From her masterful work in Aquarion EVOL to AnoHana, she has somehow weaved all the spaghetti noodles of plot and characters into this wonderful bolognese of a strong anime. PA Works is one of the better studios, even more so than the legendary Kyoto Animation. Yes, PA read more
Sep 22, 2013
With the death of Studio Shaft (look at their Monogatari S2 OPs and observe how stale they are!), druggy anime is almost dead. People are now suffering from withdrawal. They are looking at reality in the face and they couldn't handle it -- no, life is unbearable for all of us. We have become manchildren.

But wait, I hear the voice of our Lord and Savior Itagaki Shin! Just for us suffering plebeians, He gave us Teekyuu almost a year ago. And now, he returns from Heaven and set his feet on our rotting, earthly soil. Teekyuu S2 is more than anything Teekyuu S1 has done: read more
Mar 26, 2013
A particular scene in Girls und Panzer always struck me as the most beautiful thing animated. Reizei Mako is a loli with black hair; she wears a white headband and goes to school. The problem is she’s often sleepy and is always late for school. The other members of the cast are worried because they need a teammate for their panzer team (more on that later). Mako is perfect for the role of the driver. But once again, on the day when she is needed, she is still sleeping in her comfy bed. Nishizumi Miho, the protagonist, with her brownish-orange hair decides to wake her read more
Feb 6, 2013
Senyuu. (Anime) add (All reviews)
Preliminary
Anime is a dying medium.

We spit on the carcasses of animators and seiyuus from past battles. No anime has particularly captured the spirit of the good times (the 80s and 90s). Look at ourselves squabbling what is the best anime this season; we are not united. There's even some of us who say none of the anime this season is actually good. Inside our corrupted minds, the inner voice is telling us, "No, this anime will never be good as Anime X." It is how human nature works: we are negative, brutish, cynical beings.

But one adventurous director has decided to fight against the odds read more
Feb 4, 2013
Build a time machine, tune the dial to 1972, walk the streets of the Japanese suburbs, and you may hear that catchy Mazinger Z opening song blasting from a cathode-ray tube TV set. The famous opening animation introduces a swimming pool separating to allow the first super robot to be controlled by a human being to walk and save Japan. Mazinger Z is one of those influential works you have to know regardless of your interest in the mecha series.

However, one of the main criticisms of the well-loved kid show is that the protagonist is nothing like Go Nagai envisioned. Kabuto Kouji is supposed to read more
Dec 23, 2012
Teekyuu (Anime) add (All reviews)
If you're smoking too much SHAFT anime and can't stand normal anime (e.g. non-SHAFT animes), watch Teekyuu. It's about a bunch of girls on crack playing tennis. The director's the same guy who did Ben-To and also did some episodes of TTGL. So you know it's gonna be absurd to the max.

And what does the show make you feel after you finish 12 episodes of greatness?

It's kind of like a gentle wind.
It's kind of like a delicious rice cake.
It's kind of like a clamorous city.
It's kind of like a precious everyday.

That's how awesome Teekyuu is. Smoke Teekyuu everyday, people.
Dec 21, 2012
Studio Shaft is an eccentric animation studio that likes being weird for the sake of being weird. Take a look in the HidaSketch franchise: if you read the original yonkoma, you will know how much original material Shaft included. They have also added their own eccentricities like adding pictures of actual food onto clips of animation.

And it’s freaking cute.

Now, it’s the time for Shaft to mature. Shaft has always played on the seesaw of seriousness and absurdity, especially in Bakemonogatari. HidaSketch was created for people who indulge in the heinous genre known as slice-of-life. When the protagonist, Yuno, appears, I have succumbed to the evils read more
Dec 19, 2012
Suppose you watch a work that seems to have a lot of effort put into it. It’s easy to tell the staff members have worked their ass off to make this work look pretty. Gorgeous character designs and backgrounds. Hell, it’s possible to just watch the show for the art. Turn off the sounds and take off the subtitles from the screen. It’s fantastic animation. I expect nothing less from Kyoto Animation, which has given us Hyouka gifs on our Tumblr. To expect mediocrity in art direction is an insult to the members of this talented studio.

Yet, prettiness is not always watchable. When the plot read more