Thursday, December 31, 2015


Well this sucks, I totally planned to put up a couple of regular reviews this week but got hit with a killer head cold and I've had a hard time being coherent/awake the past few days. Thankfully this post should be shorter than it usually is so let's get down to it:

Friday, December 25, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015: My favorites of 2015

Technically I should've done this yesterday but I've had a hard time figuring out my top of 2015 list. I never have a set number of top titles and I never purport that this list is supposed to be a best of the year, some critics say they can separate out favorites from bests but I would rather make a favorites list and just call it that. As per usual however, split cour series ending in 2016 or multi-cour series ending in 2016 are not eligible for this list after having some series really burn me that way in the past (if I was up to date on Precure I would make an exception for that since it only has four episodes in 2016 but I'm not).

So, onto the list!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015: The potentially best anime of 2015 that I haven't seen

Or rather, to some shows I didn’t watch and others I just didn’t finish. Even though this year has felt “light” to me in terms of shows to watch I still managed to keep busy every season so there were a few shows that fell through the cracks, that had last minute payoffs, so that I simply put aside to finish another time and never found it! So, a listing of what I never quite finished and a chance for everyone to try and convince me to do so!

Monday, December 21, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015: Gender Insight

As I have already made clear, I really liked Gatchaman Crowds Insight and thought it was eerily well-timed but there was one thing I didn't find time to talk about in my review, how other fans were reacting to some of the more gender-fluid characters.

(minor spoilers for late in series events, nothing spoiling the ending or major plot points)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015: Concrete Research

To finish up my informal, four parter on anime and my life this year, as I mentioned yesterday, for some reason at my job I'm the one who does the main fact-checking my show, which is non-fiction so we really want everything to be right. I'm still not sure exactly why this is my job, I did it as an intern and then later when we had other interns, it might just be because I am meticulous and nit-picky, but I have actually come to enjoy it to an extent. I don't like how long it takes (a single, 51 minute script takes 6-8 solid hours of research and the script do change a bit during production) but research is something I've always been rather good at.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015 My Shirobako Life

So, as I touched on in my post a few days earlier, I went to school for photography and I did so without a car. Not having a car in the US is the worst, I moved to a metropolitan area partially for the public transportation but even then that's a stop-gap solution, it's as if you have neither money nor time in your life.

So I wasn't able to work as a photography assistant because of it, I could get a few jobs but when a photographer and I chatted about trying it out and seeing if I wanted to be her assistant and work with her a lot we realized I simply wouldn't be able to get to a lot of the jobs. And realizing that, that I had graduated, I had done well, but didn't have a car, and didn't have one because I came of age in the second shittest economic period in American history so I had a hard time finding jobs as a student (and had divorced parents so they couldn't afford me one) and this was going to keep biting me in the ass until I magically got the money to change it threw me into a pretty deep despair for honestly a year. I had to stop assisting, I got a couple of retail jobs where I would go to the same place every day and could find one route to get me there and stick with it, all the while questioning my life choices every single day.

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015: Space Bros and growing up

A quick one today and I feel like I already mentioned a lot of these things in my full review on Space Brothers but I still wanted to say thanks again to the show for being something I didn't realize I would need.

I started watching the show while in college, I was going through a period where I was completely sick of high school settings in shows so the idea of adult characters (and not just young 20s, like, people in their 30s, they're totally adults!) was cool to start with and space? Space is pretty cool. But Space Bros was a long running show that took me even longer to finish so I was long past college once I finish and, problems in the show aside ("racist cartoon theater") I found that I enjoyed it even more once I was a little older. Aside from giving me a little bit of real world adult advice ("oh I can tuck my lanyard into my shirt pocket so it stops choking me when I lean over? Brilliant!") it was really satisfying to come back to the show after a break and really see just how all of the characters, Mutta especially, just become more confident in themselves. It was really obvious in one of the last arcs, the undersea training one, where Mutta is handling unexpected stress and moving forward while his friend Kenji, who seemed more put together and much more confident previously, is suddenly having to deal with stress that he's never had before and panicking a bit (he does get better later but not before he notices that hey, Mutta is actually doing better than him in all of these tasks for once). 

It seems like an obvious reminder, that yes, you will get better at dealing with what life throws at you as you get older (it's even backed up by some studies that if you have some stress in your teen years you handle it better later vs someone who had none) but it still made me feel better to hear that one more time. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015 "It's up to you"

Sound! Euphonium did a lot of things right and many of those things had to do with its characters. I feel like I've seen pieces of a lot of these characters before but the band conductor, Taki-sensei, really stuck out to me because finally, that felt like the teachers I had had in high school, in college, that I had never seen in fiction before

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015: Giving thanks to the JICC

Like last year, I saw quite a few movies at the JICC, the Japan Information and Culture Center which is associated with the Japanese embassy (but not physically connected to, no I'm not seeing movies at the embassy once a month) and it feels like I saw more this year. They had an entry in their Animazing film series just about every month and while I wondered what would happen when they simply ran out of current films to show they instead switched to showing older movies, some of which I'm not sure every got a full release here. Some were good and some were not, I didn't like Patema Inverted or Brave Story at all but really liked Letter to Momo and an old classic, Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise a lot, although I was rather apathetic on Mai Mai Miracle and Giovanni's Island. They also show a number of live action films and I've been making an effort to go to more of those screenings as well especially since a number of these films are also quite hard to find (like the Seijun Suzuki films they showed in conjecture with the Freer & Sackler or the live action Thermae Romae).

So, thank you JICC for so many amazing films and I hope that even more anime nerds in the DMV discover what a wonderful resource this is (free movies guys, freeeeeee moooooovieeeees!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015 Anime Review: Gangsta.

Yep, still catching up with these anime reviews! But after this one I'm onto the more traditional 12 Days of Anime posts with smaller moments and more introspection. This show has some of both of those but a far less personal connection.


Monday, December 14, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015 Anime Review: Castle Town Dandelion

Yep, still using this as an excuse to catch up on reviews, I only wish that I was using this time to talk review some of the best shows of the year instead of my least favorite summer shows!

Castle Town Dandelion (Jokamachi no Dandelion)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

TWELVE DAYS OF ANIME 2015: Anthem of the Heart

Alright folks, it's the start of 12 Days of Anime so have a late movie review post (which works out well for me since I'm not sure I have 12 days worth of material yet....)

I almost didn't see this movie, it was playing only for two days near me (a simultaneous release with the rest of the US so there weren't any advance reviews), tickets are expensive, and while I liked the 30 minute making-of feature it just didn't sell me on it (it has a lot of the same team that worked on AnoHana and while I did like that show it was so melodramatic I wasn't sure I could handle all of that compressed into a single movie). Thankfully some folks started writing reviews on it after they saw it on the first day and that pushed me to go you know, why not? 

Anthem of the Heart

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Anime Review: Snow White with the Red Hair (part one)

Stress, work, job-hunting, car shopping, and sewing are all big timesinks folks. So is reading too much manga so you can review it in the next few weeks but I feel like that one is an understandable excuse for me at least.

Snow White with the Red Hair (Akagami no Shirayukihime)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: November 30-December 5th

So, every post was a day late this week, including my OASG review of the first volume of Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun, I'm almost impressed that I was that consistent. Hopefully I'll do better this week (I'm only seeing a movie one day this week instead of two which should help!) but if you missed anything with these irregular updates, I continue plowing through the summer anime season with Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers, post my penultimate webcomic review for the year, Check Please!, and then speak about why I have problems with a generally praised YA novel from this year Shadowshaper

Outside of reviews, I have really fallen behind on watching Garo BUT I did start Go Princess Precure which I had been meaning to do for a while. And I bought/read a lot of manga this week, I won one of Global Bookwalkers "answer this survey and go into a drawing to win ¥20000 in web money!" drawings and since I had to use it all by the 9th I went ahead, bought all of Inari Konkon, all of Maoyu that they have (not sure if it's current with the Japanese release or not but it's way farther along than the scanlations I used to read), and all of The Legend in Annatour which I am completely unfamiliar with. Plus they actually have a lot of free first volumes now (which is great since their previews are only 8 pages long which I think is too short, wish they were like Viz and CR and offered the first full chapter for free) like Itihasa, Ga-Rei, Samurai Drive, and Student Council's Discretion. Review for those first volumes will probably go up on OASG instead of here at some point but since I still have a few, hefty omnibuses to read first I don't think that will be anytime soon. Oh and I also blitzed through both the new chapter of Spirit Circle and the new volume of The Morose Mononokean this week, basically I was drowning in manga but that's the best situation to be in.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Book Review: Shadowshaper

I grabbed this book from a display at my library and it was only later that I discovered that it was actually on my to-read list anyway. I like coincidences like that, especially now that it's close to the end of the year so I'm trying to get through as many 2015 books as I can. Although, I must confess that I'm not quite sure why this book made it onto my list in the first place.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Webcomic Review: Check Please!

I started reading this comic between late July and early September, I believe I got this recommendation from one of the many "webcomic recommendation" links I posted, and then realized I had actually seen this comic earlier. I had actually seen a banner for this at Otakon but since it was an image of Bittle holding a pie I couldn’t tell if it was about hockey or about a waiter whose customers just never seemed to leave/pay. I mention this not because I think it’s a bad banner advertisement, just because I think this would be a hilarious AU and someone should get on that now please!

Check Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Anime Review: Rokka Braves of the Six Flowers

And now we get to the "this wasn't nearly terrible enough to drop it but boy did it have problems" series from the summer anime season. Just about all of these titles had one big thing in common, they started strong and then slowly started to stagger with different amounts of crashing and burning.

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers