Since there are four spring sports anime that debuted recently, I figured I would start writing about them in a weekly post. Don’t expect these to be summaries or lengthy thought pieces – just mainly my opinions on how each show is going that particular week.
I’ve collected miscellaneous anime/manga/game-related items over the years as part of going to conventions and on travels abroad – stuff that I don’t really want anymore but think that other people might. Below are pictures of individual items that you can claim by either saying so in the comments or replying to me on Twitter (@calaggie).
I’m generally limiting this to those residing in North America, though I can make some exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Okay, maybe just a couple of books – not a whole pile. [pixiv]
Some of you may have noticed that there hasn’t been a review posted in the last month as part of this year’s A-to-Z anime review project – the next letter in the series would have be “D”. That’s because I really haven’t been in the mood to watch much anime lately, whether it’s a currently airing one or an older series/film, aside from group watches over Skype.
I’ve been busy with the resumption of gameplay in the Anime Studio Baseball Tournament as well as doing research for a panel about sports manga & anime that I submitted last week for Fanime in late May – I’m currently waiting for a decision to be made on that. I may end up writing some posts about sports series in the coming months while preparing to give that presentation (if it’s approved) since I’m looking at stuff from that genre anyway.
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.