For my third alphabetical review, I picked the first Chibi Maruko-chan movie (released in 1990). If you’re not familiar with Maruko-chan, it’s a family-oriented comedy series about a lazy 3rd grader and her school & home life.
The movie goes through Maruko’s class preparing for and participating in the school sports festival and then the Christmas choir competition. At the start, the students undergo a seating rearrangement and Maruko gets put in a row with two rough boys, Ono and Sugiyama, who work well with each other but are sometimes rude to their classmates. Maruko comes to like their relationship and tries to help them stay friends when circumstances are about to separate them.
I liked Maruko’s voice (her seiyuu is TARAKO) because it reminded me a bit of the gravelly take Izumi Kitta gave when portraying Watamote‘s Tomoko. I got many of the jokes despite not really knowing about many of the characters’ backgrounds/traits coming into starting the movie. It had admirable heart that I’m sure the two TV series have as well. (Vinnie of All Geeks Considered talked a bit about it in his Golden Ani article for 1990.)
I recently came across two general philosophy books written by Akinari Tomasu (富増章成) that were published by Yosensha at least a decade ago. In each, he discussed anime, games and tokusatsu series in relation to certain philosophers and concepts.
The first book, Fantasy Philosophy Reading Book (空想哲学読本) contains the following chapters:
- Ultraman and Aristotle
- Sailor Moon and Christian philosophy
- Neon Genesis Evangelion and Rene Descartes
- Tokimeki Memorial and Immanuel Kant
- Pokemon and Georg Hegel
- Gundam and Friedrich Nietzsche
- Star of the Giants and Eastern philosophy
and here are the pairings in the second book, Fantasy Philosophy Lecture (空想哲学講義):
- Macross and Henri-Louis Bergson
- Densha de GO! and phenomenology
- Time Bokan and Martin Heidegger
- Anpanman and Jean-Paul Sartre
- Cutie Honey and logic
- Tensai Bakabon and Ludwig Wittgenstein
- Sukeban Deka 3 and Mikkyō
These sorts of pop culture philosophy books aren’t uncommon in the West with a couple publishers – Open Court and Wiley – continuing to put out essay collections based around popular TV shows, films, books and musicians. I’m usually skeptical about such texts and therefore have pretty much avoided them, although I did get the ones focusing on anime and manga that Open Court published in 2010 and thought the couple of chapters from each I read were competent.
Time Bokan and Heidegger
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much in English about Tomasu and his works so it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to get a sense of how he approaches explaining concepts to a general reading audience. I’d like to find out how he connects Cutie Honey and logic, for example, because it’s not obvious to me as someone who’s watched the original 1973 anime how someone can associate those two.
I suppose I could try to get my hands on either book and attempt to crudely translate portions to gain some understanding but I’d prefer the books to be properly translated, even if they end up being only available in a digital format.
I read the first Book Girl (Bungaku Shoujo) light novel, Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime, soon after it was released by Yen Press in the summer of 2010 and thought it was a good read. A movie and some OVAs were produced by Production I.G. based on Mitsuki Nomura’s series of light novels – I chose to watch the movie for this feature.
(Sorry that I’ve begun to fall a little behind my original pace of one review every two weeks – I’ll try to get back on track over the coming months.)
I had been interested in trying out the Kyoto Animation trilogy of Key visual novel adaptations – AIR, Kanon and Clannad – for a number of years but never really got around to starting them. AIR seemed like a good place to begin since it was the first (2005) and the shortest of the three.
(Note: I skipped episode 13 “Memories” because I read that it was a recap. I also didn’t watch the Air in Summer specials.)
(from top right, counter-clockwise) A-ko, B-ko & C-ko
A new year brings new opportunities and I came up with an idea last week to bring semi-regular content to the blog for 2014: an A-to-Z anime review project.
I already announced the basic idea for the project – one anime review every two weeks for each letter in the Latin alphabet - on Twitter on New Years’ Eve and have started watching my choice for “A”, which I plan to have finished watching and to have a post published in a week’s time (January 14th or 15th).
My personal criteria for narrowing down the possible series/OVAs/movies I might write about for this year-long feature include:
- not having previously watched more than a couple episodes (TV series & OVAs).
- for TV series, they should generally be no longer than 26 episodes. First seasons only, in the case of multiple-season series. (Of course, I may write about subsequent seasons in separate posts later.)
- trying using the complete commonly-accepted English title for each work, which will be the Region 1 localized name in most cases (e.g. Neon Genesis Evangelion would fall under N, not E for Evangelion) but not always.
- a particular title must have had its theatrical debut or its episode aired/released before January 1, 2014.
I’ve made a list of what I am interested in watching for each of the 26 reviews but feel free to suggest titles for any letter (except for A) in the comments or in a reply on Twitter and I’ll take them into consideration.