So I started a side blog this week


On Sunday, I began writing on a side blog that will focus on sports fiction (anime, manga, films, comics, etc.) and I’ve made a couple news-related posts on it so far. My intention is to cover smaller items that I likely wouldn’t bother fleshing out on here as well as profiling various sports series and other media. I also created a preliminary page to keep track of sports-related panels that have been presented at fandom conventions over the years since there’s been a growth in those, paralleling the popularity of simulcasted sports anime.

I’m still early on in this project so feel free to make suggestions on possible improvements.

Three Books About Japanese Movie Posters

At Anime Expo 2011, I bought a book called Anime Poster Art for a discounted price of $5 from Akadot/DMP’s dealers hall booth. I looked through it at the time, intending to write something about it, but I didn’t get around to doing so.

Four years later, I found that two similar poster-focused books from the same cocoro books imprint – Japanese Movie Posters and Silver Screen Samurai – had cheap listings on digital storefronts such as Amazon’s Kindle store. I decided to buy both to go along the physical copy of Anime Poster Art that I still own.

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Before Twitter and Tumblr: Thinking about older anime blogs

Seeing the above tweet by Spiritsnare last night sent me into a whirlwind of thinking about bygone and still surviving aniblogs that started in the previous decade (2000-2009). While memories were swirling around in my head, I realized that this May will be my ninth anniversary of blogging on a semi-regular basis – not as long as AWO has been podcasting (December 2005) but it feels like long in Internet time.

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Expect A Few More Blue Hearts Covers as “Rolling Girls” Insert Songs


I’m watching a handful of new anime this winter season and the one that has impressed me the most so far has been Wit Studio’s The Rolling Girls. Its visuals are very colorful and its vocal songs (OP/ED & inserts) are catchy, too. The thing that caught my attention when I looked more closely at the credits is that those songs so far are all covers of tracks by ’80s & ’90s Japanese band The Blue Hearts.

The Blue Hearts’ most recognizable song in the West is likely their 1987 hit “Linda Linda” since it has been featured in other media after its debut including the 2005 film Linda Linda Linda (here’s an English trailer), wherein a high school girls’ band plays covers of Blue Hearts songs. That movie was released on DVD stateside by Viz Pictures in 2007 but I think it’s currently out-of-print.

Back to Rolling Girls: covers of the following Blue Hearts tracks have aired so far, sung by the show’s four main voice actresses:
“Hito ni Yasashiku” (人にやさしく, 1987) as main opening theme
“Tsuki no Bakugekiki” (月の爆撃機, 1993) as main ending theme
“1000 Violins” (1000のバイオリン, 1993) as episode 1 insert song
“Eiyuu ni Akogarete” (英雄にあこがれて, 1987) as episode 2 insert song

There’s a song collection CD with an April release date that claims to feature five cover songs from the show so there should be at least three more debuting in future episodes.


Rolling Girls
 isn’t unique in using voice actors’ covers of older Japanese songs – the ending theme for Maria Holic season 1 was a cover of YMO’s “Kimi ni Mune Kyun” and Penguindrum had many covers of ARB songs including “Rock Over Japan” (aka the SEIZON SENRYAKU theme).

Goals for 2015


In my previous years of aniblogging, I’ve written posts with resolutions about things I want to start doing or improve upon in the next year along with predictions of what might happen.

While I have given up on producing predictions, I still have some goals (I don’t really feel like calling them “resolutions”) that spawned from thinking throughout the year of how I can be a better blogger or at least a more frequently posting one.

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12 Days 2014 Day 12 – Anime Series I Watched from 2014 & What I Still Want To Try

Technically, this scene was from 2013.

There are a lot of anime series that debut each anime season and many of them I don’t get around to sampling, either because I was watching other shows and/or I felt indifferent toward plot descriptions I read before they started. As weeks pass and people continue to talk about certain shows (mostly in a positive light), I think about maybe trying the ones I passed over after they finish their runs.

This post contains lists of anime series that premiered in 2014 I haven’t tried yet but still want to in the new year, broken down by debut season. I used general buzz from people I follow on Twitter as well as user ratings on Anime-Planet in compiling the titles. I also listed the shows I completed, started and dropped so that readers know what I did try during the year and, in some cases, need to finish.

Feel free to respond in the comments with recommendations of which series to definitely go for and which I shouldn’t bother with.

(By the way, some of the titles I listed below were profiled in Flawfinder’s countdown of disappointingly bad shows – I might be a little more cautious about those.)

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12 Days 2014 (Late) Day 11 – Growing to Like D-Frag!’s Stupidity


D-Frag!
was a series I sampled when it debuted in January and then forgot about until I returned to it in July after it finished airing.

At first, I thought the show was okay but as I went along with the series, I opened up to most of the characters and their straightforwardness so I enjoyed it a lot more by the end.

After finishing the anime series, I’ve been getting the manga as Seven Seas publishes English-translated volumes in North America and it has the same humor as its anime adaptation.

I was glad to hear during the summer that FUNimation plans to release the show on home video in 2015 – I’ll certainly try to support it and attempt to listen to a likely dub.

12 Days 2014 Day 10 – That Short-Lived A-to-Z Review Project


At the beginning of the year, I got the idea to attempt to review one anime for each letter of the English alphabet during 2014. The thought was that I’d have about two weeks to watch a show or movie and write a post about it and that seems pretty easy, right?

Well, I fell behind the pace and I stopped after letter “C” when I realized I didn’t feel like making up the ground I’d lost.

The anime I did end up writing about were:

A – AIR
B – Book Girl (Bungaku Shoujo) movie
C – Chibi Maruko-chan movie

I liked all three of them (unfortunately, I lost the review posts when I had to restart the blog in October) and I enjoyed trying out a new project to start off the year, even though it fizzled out by March. At least I got chii from Oishii Anime to join me in blogging different anime for a couple months.

12 Days 2014 Day 9 – Challenging Mt. Fuji (Encouragement of Climb Season 2)

Encouragement of Climb was probably my favorite short-episode anime series of 2013 so I was excited to see its second season with longer episodes and double the amount as well (24 fifteen-minute episodes compared to 12 four-minute ones in the first season). Unfortunately, there was a licensing issue that complicated Crunchyroll’s simulcasting of the show following episode 1 but that got cleared up in late October with the previously unreleased episodes being added all at once and new episodes were released on a regular schedule once again.

One main arc that played out in the first half of the season involved the four main girls attempting to climb Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan.

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