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Mar 24, 2013
I feel so sorry for anybody who missed out on this anime this year because it was absolutely brilliant. Likewise, I also feel sorry for anybody who didn’t, because Urobuchi Gen ripped their hearts out.

The series is set in the near future in which it is possible to instantaneously quantify a person’s state of mind, personality, and probability of committing a crime, all recorded on an individual’s “Psycho-Pass”. When their “Crime Coefficient” index becomes too high, they are pursued and apprehended by police officers known as Inspectors, and their ‘hunting dogs’ the Enforcers; in this way, order is maintained. Unit One of the Public Safety read more
Mar 23, 2013
Let’s talk about Shounen.

Shounen is probably easily the most popular and most celebrated form of manga, and respectively anime. Typically characterized by high action, sometimes comedic, fights and more often than not featuring a sunny, hero-type protagonist and his jolly crew. Any women tend to be extremely attractive with ‘exaggerated’ features (see: fan service) and the antagonist tends to be some asshole with a god-complex, waiting inevitably to be taken down by said cookie cutter protagonist.

Dragon Ball Z basically epitomizes the shounen genre (though it has been known to vary in theme and tone) but were I to mention Naruto, One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, read more
Feb 15, 2013
Samurai Champloo is Shinichiro Watanabe’s second effort as director for an anime series (the first being the legendary Cowboy Bebop, and the third, his most recent effort, Kids on the Slope). That alone is and was incentive enough for some to check the series out— as it also was for me.

The word “Champloo” itself in Japanese refers to an Okinawan stir fry dish generally combining tofu, vegetables, and some sort of meat. The term has come to signify “something mixed” and is analogous with the culture of Okinawa— a melting pot of several Asian and even North American cultures. As it applies to the read more
Jan 20, 2013
From Up on Poppy Hill marks Goro Miyazaki’s second attempt at helming a Studio Ghibli film. It’s infinitely better than Earthsea, which doesn’t amount to saying much, but hey.

Regardless of the film’s merits, it’s nice to see that Miyazaki senior actually helped write the script, resulting in a joint effort from father and son that smooths over their previously tumultuous relationship.

From Up on Poppy Hill is a period drama from 1960’s Japan. A young high school student befriends a young man in her class, and the two decided to lead the charge in saving the school’s clubhouse, Quartier Latin, read more
Jan 20, 2013
Porco Rosso is a very different film for Miyazaki in many ways. While the motif of flying is central to the story, the environmentalist themes are completely absent. Instead of a young and charming lead, our protagonist is an Italian ex-World War I fighter pilot, now turned freelance bounty hunter. Additionally, an unusual curse has turned him into a pig.

But it’s these elements that make Porco Rosso stand out, even so far out of Miyazaki’s comfort zone. With regards to the setting, it is one of the most clearly defined in his films and excels at conveying the feel and tone of read more
Jan 20, 2013
Princess Mononoke is going to be difficult for me to talk about because it is such a perfect film. Probably Miyazaki’s magnum opus.

This is not to say that I favor Princess Mononoke over the film that would follow, Spirited Away. That film is Miyazaki’s other magnum opus. What I mean is that in looking at Hayao Miyazaki’s work, his ability and interests range from grand-scale, mature, fantasy epics in which the theme of man versus nature is the centerpiece to wonderland through the eyes of a child in which the child learns to grow and mature and come into their own read more
Jan 20, 2013
You might notice an unfamiliar name filling the role of director in this spot. Toward the end of his career, Yoshifumi Kondo worked as a key animator and animation director at Studio Ghibli for several years, and was expected to join the ranks of great directors alongside Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Unfortunately, he only directed one film, Whisper of the Heart, before passing away due to an aortic aneurysm. It was said his death was caused by excess work and, upon reflection, led Hayao Miyazaki to announce his retirement after Princess Mononoke. Obviously, he did not retire, but seems to have been influenced to read more
Jan 20, 2013
Kiki’s Delivery Service is the heartwarming tale of a young witch attempting to find her place in the world. With her cat and companion in tow, Kiki travels (by broomstick) to small coastal town so she can find her talent and improve her magical powers. She meets a kindly baker and his wife, an aspiring artist, and a boy her age fascinated by aviation and nurses a massive crush for the witch.

I know I sound like a broken record and will continue to, but like all of Director Miyazaki’s work, the film is gorgeously rendered. Kiki is as beloved as any other read more
Dec 12, 2012
Hey you know what is universally applicable to everybody alive on the planet and yet just as universally not understood? And is dull as dishwater?


Here’s a whole series about it.

The production work for Spice & Wolf was done by Studio Imagin, a small company with few series under it’s belt (in fact, even the sequel season wasn’t picked up by them). This is probably the most well known work they’ve put out. In my opinion the character design is a bit basic and the models don’t always move as fluidly as they could. It’s not a bad looking show, and luckily, the material of the read more
Dec 11, 2012
A reverse harem, slice of life, high school show like this isn’t my usual cup of tea, but anything that can get me to change my mind must really be doing something right.

To begin with, the show really cleverly subverts the genre by acknowledging that the Host Club boys parody shojo manga characters in order to pander to the teenage girls’ romantic fantasies, who in turn eat it up like frosting in a can. There’s Tamaki Suou, president of the Host Club and “princely” type, Kyoya the “cool”type, Kaoru and Hikari the identical twins who may or may not be in a romantic relationship, Honey read more