COMMENTARY – Linking It All Together

coupler point

It’s Riddle Time! Today’s riddle is…“Why does the porridge bird lay his egg in the air?”  No, that’s not it. It is “What do trains and anime have in common?” ‘Coupler points’.

You have seen in my reviews the term ‘coupler point’, in reference to the conclusion of a show. What does that mean? Well, we have to look at trains for an understanding. All trains have a hook at either end of their cars. Yes, even the caboose, which is the ‘last car’, still has couplers on either end. I remember, as a young youth, watching the trains go by, I would see two or three cabooses linked together. The couplers allow for numerous cars to connect, so you end up with a train that takes 30 minutes to pass a crossing. Not too good if you are running late to work but great if you are a train geek. (more…)

Don’t Pull on my “Tail”

twin tails

Although this is kind of a ‘Girls Who Save the World’ caliber of show, it was very hard to take this seriously, even when it became ‘serious’. “Gonna be the Twin-Tail!!” (“Ore, Tsuintēru ni Narimasu”, “I Will Become a Twintail”.) also takes gender-bending to another level.

We are at Yōgetsu Private Academy. Sōji Mitsuka is an ordinary high school boy who has an obsession for twintails hair. That is when you split the hair, so you have it flaring off to the side, as we see up there, although it can trail in the back as well. At the opening ceremony, he is enraptured with the numerous twintails about him, especially Erina Shindō, who is the student body president and has a magnificent pair…of twintails. (more…)

Open Your Golden “Gate”

group shot

This was an intriguing series, but the terseness of the first season means that there will be a second season (at the very least) to try and settle the problems that were both brought up and complicated in this show. This is “Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri “ (“Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in That Place”), although it just seems to be called “Gate”. It is either current times or a slightly distant future (like 2020 or something along those lines. Still no hoverboards). It is a wonderful afternoon in the Ginza Area and Yōji Itami (guy up there) is enjoying his day off. You see, he is a JSDF soldier, but he is also a hopeless otaku and is making his way to his favorite store for the latest and greatest in manga and anime.

Suddenly, a massive portal shows up, and I don’t mean like a pulsating spiral of pure evil, but a real archway. It almost looks Roman in construction and design and size. Look, it spans the street and is at least two stories tall, perhaps taller. Then, all of these nasty monsters start pouring out and attack the citizenry. Itami is ticked off, as he had places to go to, but now, he is pressed into service to help protect people and drive back the threat. Well, despite being monsters, these guys come off as medieval, with spears and arrows and swords, so they are no match for modern weaponry and are quickly dispatched (those that aren’t captured). (more…)

Gaining A New Writer


This blog has been a solo affair throughout its multiple iterations – first as the WordPress-hosted Part-Time Otaku and then as Nigorimasen! when it moved onto its own hosting – and I hadn’t really considering bringing on other writers, perhaps in an unconscious attempt to not have conflicting voices. I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to people who were writing for other blogs and websites or inviting readers to join as writers so it’s been just me for years.

I guess it’s appropriate that The Droid reached out to me rather than the other way around. He wanted to migrate here after making hundreds of reviews and other posts for another anime blog. We exchanged emails for a while, he sent me some past reviews, and now he’s making his Nigorimasen! debut this week. You can find out more about him in his introduction post.

The addition of another writer has re-ignited my own writing juices. I have been watching some of the new anime series that debuted this month and I’m assembling my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far. I also have a new regular feature in the works as well as the continuation of a dormant project.

Introductions

suguru 4

Good day to one and all. My name is The Droid. How I came by that nickname is a long and colorful story, but not as long and colorful as to how I came to be here on this anime blog.

Many years ago, I used to be the Top Dog at Yahoo!Answers (yes, long before I got a life). For four years, I was #1 US, #1 World, but I surrendered the title some time back. One of the areas that I was a big winner at was the Comics and Animation sub-category (and I still am).

About four years ago, I was recruited by an individual who was starting an anime blog. He saw how well I was doing in the anime category (and honestly, the bulk of the questions asked there are anime/manga related) and wondered if I would like to write for his site, which would give anime recommendations. I sent off a couple of reviews and he enjoyed my writing style and approach and took me on.

Now, I did more than just review anime; I also passed on some commentary about trends I saw or things that annoyed me in anime and gave reviews of anime conventions that I have attended. Things were looking swell for us, as I prepared for the 2016 Season.

In March, the reviews were not being posted as often as was scheduled, but since I was behind in my writings, I did not pay it much heed. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the site near the end of the month to see that it had lapsed. The domain name was not renewed and my frantic letters to him went unanswered.

I am, foremost, a writer. Well, maybe I fancy myself as one, but it is something I have been doing since Jimmy Carter was president (crfap, did I just date myself?) Campus radio, college TV, several failed attempts at screenplays, I crashed and burned trying to get children’s books published, and, as of late, anime reviews. And to all of a sudden not be writing is a bit of a shock.

I did an internet search of Top Anime Blogs and was a bit stunned to see that our site was in the Top 25. Not too bad for basically a one-man operation. (When we started out we had six people; I chose to do full-series reviews with a couple of the other reviewers and we had others who did episode reviews). But as time wore on, people found it more and more difficult to keep up with the shows and stay to a writing schedule, so it all fell away ‘til there was me. (Or is it I? That part of grammar always confuses me. And we are NOT going to discuss ‘lay’ and ‘lie’. Brrrrrrrrrr!)

I looked at the contenders. It is important that you fit within the style and scope of the site, or you end up a kind of Jabberwocky; that person out of step, out of sync, out of luck. This site was a good fit for how I do reviews and the Domain Lord was in need of help. Sounded like a win-win situation for us. So, now I’ll be posting here.

Some things you should be aware of: I detest Giant Fighting Robot shows. Not all mecha, but certainly things in the Gundam Realm fall far short with me. I am also tired of the vampire – zombie – monster trifecta, as I’m not seeing anything new. And I know I will take a lot of heat about my irritation at excessive fan service (I know; I heard you shouting, “There’s no such thing as ‘excessive fan service’!”)

I certainly welcome your comments and feel that you can have a lively discussion about anime without it becoming an argument clinic. (“You love ‘Tokyo Mew Mew’? That explains EVERYTHING!!!”) So, let’s all have a good time here.

Oh, that splash panel up top? I kinda look like Suguru Misato from “Mahoromatic”, so I use it as my icon.

Wrapping Up 2015: Five Short-Form Summer Anime Series

My rate of keeping up with newly-debuted anime series has fallen in the past few years. I had decided to not participate in this year’s Anime Secret Santa project since I figured I might not be able to completely watch and subsequently write a review of a recommended anime within the given timeframe. I also passed on joining other bloggers in the 12 Days project that started on December 14th because I didn’t feel like I had completed enough anime since January to adequately compose 12 posts.

I ended up beginning more series from 2015 than I’ve finished and there are others I would still like to try out, though I likely won’t get through those until the first couple months of next year. (My curiosity in wanting to sample new shows has gradually led to a long list of half-watched anime, especially since the growth of simulcasts has allowed me to easily try out a first episode on a whim.) I’ll attempt to wrap up watching as many 2015 series as I can before year’s end and write about the ones I complete.

The bulk of my current anime watching involves series with episodes lasting less than 15 minutes. Those shorter runtimes mean smaller weekly time commitments for me as a viewer and also mean the shows featuring those shorter episodes sometimes have more focused writing and pacing compared to their full-length counterparts. Over the past few months, I completed watching five such anime from this summer.

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