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Apr 3, 2024
Well-writtenWell-written
There is a distinct difference between something working out in theory versus it working out in practice. If you were to visually lay out or list everything within *Metallic Rouge* in terms of its characters, places, and concepts, you’d be able to have a pretty firm grasp on what’s going on. In part because it is deliberately drawing such heavy influence from other cyberpunk or science-fiction media before it (with Ridley Scott’s *Blade Runner* being the most overt), the pieces to put everything together are indeed there, even if you don’t happen to know of its inspirations. However, the anime’s sense of revealing this information ...
Mar 30, 2024
Perhaps it was just a case of finding the initial humor and characterization of *The Dangers in My Heart’s* first season unamusing that made it not land for me. As much as I was telling myself that Ichikawa Kyoutarou’s mannerisms were just a case of teenage indulgence in the macabre and not really indicative of some kind of seedier way of being, the dynamic between him and Yamada Anna was just not resonating with the intended affect that I knew the material was going for. That being said, I could tell that there was something within this material that was worth clinging to, and despite ...
Mar 26, 2024
*Spirit of Wonder,* even when making reference to scientific principles, is a collection that makes no pretense about being scientifically accurate. If anything, it banks on using its ridiculous jargon and long-winded explanations as part of the larger theme of exploring and daring to dream or experience fanciful, almost-impossible things. So when a group aspires to use a blimp to get to Mars, you put the rational part of your brain away and just let the group have their adventure and cheer them on. After all, going to Mars is cool, right? And hasn't every scientist or mathematician at some point had to ask, "But ...
Mar 26, 2024
Mixed Feelings
*Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead* is a series that, at least in the beginning, seemed to have its finger on a bizarre pulse that had laid dormant for some time. Romping through its *Splatoon!*-colored zombie-fied “end of the world” setting, it decided that character depth and important intrigue would be abandoned in favor of giving its setting the excuse to go full-fledged indulgent into the stupid. Why concern yourself with hunkering down and fighting blood, sweat, and tears to survive when you could be more concerned about getting beer at the konbini instead, despite the clear and present danger? Why take the time ...
Mar 26, 2024
xxxHOLiC (Manga) add
*×××HOLiC* seems to defy any real sense of simplistic genre classification, and that’s a good thing. Given the sheer breadth of its surreal dives into the darkly fantastical, the comic, and the serious, it seems to have all its conventional genre labels connected to one another in inseparable ways. It makes its home in a strange twilight zone. But no matter what particular style or tone it is going for at any given moment, it always seems to move in sneakily smooth motions of change rather than being plopped down from out of nowhere. It sows seeds early that germinate into their fuller blooming later, ...
Jan 21, 2024
Well-writtenWell-written
Preliminary (32/32 chp)
*The Summer You Were There* is a story about a single, prolonged cry into the literary night that came dangerously close to getting lost in the wind. Hoshikawa Shizuku was the author of that cry, but shortly after having completed her first novel, she cannot bear the thought of it staying online anymore once it gets exposed. Perhaps even egged on (albeit unintentionally) by the online commenters that are baffled by the novel’s content and can only respond the way commenters sometimes do on sites of that nature, she deletes a year’s worth of work and seeks to discard the manuscript. Her apprehension is the ...
Jan 19, 2024
Rozen Maiden (Anime) add
*Rozen Maiden* is a series filled with toys, whether those toys be the Rozen Maidens themselves as the little bisque dolls—no, Kitagawa Marin is not in this series—that are involved in the Alice Game, or the toys that litter Sakurada Jun’s bedroom. Jun’s perspective on life effectively mirrors how he treats the various boxes, toys, or “goods” strewn about – something that is not worthy of holding onto, and casting away anything that could tie him to those things. His bedroom is thus a place of hikkikomori withdrawal from the world. He is, in essence, toying with the rules of the cozy little reality he ...
Sep 26, 2023
InformativeInformative
There’s an old sentiment that gets repeated when it comes to consuming art – everyone is entitled to their own interpretations and opinions. In the pure abstract, this is true, but it’s also true that media sometimes requires us to lean more towards certain takeaways than others. I highly doubt anyone would watch *Girls und Panzer* and come away with the sense that it was critiquing Soviet Union sociopolitical dogmatism—though I would love to see someone actually try arguing that in earnest—or that *serial experiments lain* was just everyone tripping balls on LSD and that all that stuff about “the Wired” was just a drug-induced ...
Sep 20, 2023
Watching *My Happy Marriage* surprised me from its first few minutes, though not quite because of any animation, action, or dialogue that it was uttering. Instead, I was struck by just how quiet the series was, as though it was somehow moving through a garden of gently falling petals and leaves. The show seemed to glide its way through its environment and its colors, almost like it had been residing in the fleeting space that lies between sleep and the moment just before you lose yourself in drowsiness. It’s hard to believe that a series that exudes such gentleness could have its central character be ...
Sep 14, 2023
Well-writtenWell-written
*BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!!* has its characters start at the lowest point imaginable – a band having broken up, friendships fractured, and feelings hurt. Togawa Saki rubbed salt on a wound so quickly and ruthlessly that any chance at repairing things reads as nonexistent. Considering how much the franchise up to this point has relied on its sense of communal fun, it seems like the most-antithetical, experimental, and sure-to-fail approach that could have been taken. To be sure, the franchise has never been afraid to dip its toe into the more-dramatic aspects of its universe; the two-part *Episode of Roselia* film series and the arcs ...


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