“Flower” Power

This is one really strange movie, in that you are uncertain what the reality is and what it all means, starting with the title. As I have said, if you can’t decide on a title, there are bigger problems afoot. “Garakowa: Restore the World”, (also known as “Vitreous Flower & Destroy the World”, “Garasu no Hana to Kowasu Sekai” or “The Glass Flower and The Destroyed World”) plunks you right into the thick of things, with nary a map or guidelines as to what is reality or what reality is. Forget Google Maps, or you’ll be trying to find that Chipotle in the middle of the Hudson River.

Dual (left) and Dorothy (right) are two programs who reside within the Box of Wisdom. Their job is to enter the various worlds, containing the memories of people across many timelines and deleting worlds that become infected with viruses. They spend a lot of time talking a caliber of philosophy and what they do, as we see them killing off a virus or two.

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Trying To Stay Motivated As A Thirty-Something

Mitsune’s shirt: “Don’t trust anyone over 30” (front cover of Love Hina manga volume 4)

Today is my 31st birthday and I’m in a contemplative mood.

Right now, I feel both connected to contemporary goings-on and disconnected from them: interacting with friends and other enthusiasts through Twitter and blogs but still not very familiar with video bloggers popular with younger groups of fans. In the past two years, I have lost interest in attending many convention eventsgiven up on keeping pace with new anime simulcasts, and reminisced about bygone and still active anime bloggers. There are hundreds of things I want to watch and read but I often succumb to indecision about which things to start watching or reading next. I experience moments of self-doubt where I ask myself “why am I still doing this?” and “what do I have to offer?” Continue reading

Year of the “Asterisk”

An asterisk is that little star you sometimes see, next to things like ‘free* checking’ or ‘free* bat day’ or ‘free* Willy’. It is an indicator that things are not on the up-and-up. That is certainly the case with “The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water” (“ Gakusen Toshi Asutarisuku” “Academy Battle City Asterisk”). But, first, we must go back to the front.

In the 20th century, a disaster called Invertia led to the destruction of numerous cities across the world. (Well, I assume the world. I mean, only Japan got pulverized?) In response to the declining economy, the Integrated Empire Foundation is organized to assume the world’s leadership. The parallel city of Rikka, also known as Asterisk, has six academies which hold tournaments called “Festas”. Seidokan Academy becomes the 5th highest-ranking academy in Asterisk. Now, the thing about Rikka is that it is designed to look like a stylized asterisk, with the six academies as the points of the star and the festival battlegrounds as the center.

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That Obscure “Object” of Desire

This was a show that went in a different direction than I had imagined, in that what (or who) should have been the ‘star’ was relegated into being a support player. But I digress. Welcome to the world of “Heavy Object “(“Hevī Obujekuto”).

We are in an alternate future (and can a future be ‘alternate’? It’s the future; who knows what it may hold? Except no hover boards), and war as we know it is obsolete. Well, not completely, as war is war, but instead of sending in hordes and hordes of soldiers to shoot and stab and bomb and blow up, we send in the “Heavy Object”, a massive orb on tank tracks. And I mean heavy. Aside from being 50 meters in diameter, it is also 200,000 tons of hugeness. And those are the ‘small’ ones! Part of the issue is that where it can go is somewhat limited. You had best have something special when you go to the desert (and, yes, there are floating versions of this weapon as well).

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“Jump Start” Manga Update – Three Series Have Joined Magazine’s Regular Lineup

Magazine covers for the second batch of “Jump Start” debuts in 2017

I wrote a post in February about the first three manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s 2017 “Jump Start” program, which were We Never Learn, U19, and Demon Prince Poro’s Diaries. Since then, three more series have had their own three-chapter trial runs – Hungry Marie, Dr. Stone and Robot x Laserbeam. After Viz weighed the reader survey results for all six series, they added Dr. Stone, Robot x Laserbeam, and We Never Learn to the magazine’s regular lineup. The first three chapters from all the Jump Start series are available as free chapters on Viz’s website.

In this post, I discuss the following chapters: Hungry Marie chapters 1-3, Dr. Stone chapters 1-9, Robot x Laserbeam chapters 1-7, U19 chapter 3, Demon Prince Poro’s Diaries chapters 2 & 3, and We Never Learn chapters 4-9. I have enjoyed reading all six of those series up to now, some more than others, and would like to see them get digital volume releases in the future.

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A “Method” To the Madness

This was a show I started to watch, had it taken away and picked it back up to complete it when it returned. “Sora no Method” (“Celestial Method”) is kind of like what happened to me with this show, in that things we did in the past have now come around to greet us again and need to be completed.

Nonoka Komiya (far right) is a girl who once lived in Lake Kiriya City, but moved out. Seven years have passed and she returns to discover there is a mysterious blue saucer hovering over the city. This is a big tourist attraction, as no one can answer any questions about it. I mean, all it does is hover, but is otherwise completely inert to anything and everything. As Nonoka tries to make herself at home, so to speak, she meets this odd girl, Noel (blue hair in the center) who claims that she not only knows of her, but has been waiting all this time to grant her wish to her, a wish that was made seven years earlier. Continue reading