In December 2016, I tweeted: “The year 2016 has felt like 2+ years have passed since January 1st.” This year somehow felt even longer and was filled with too many distressing news stories.
The year also offered many entertaining and thoughtful anime series, movies, manga, and novels. I started watching a bunch of anime series that I hope to finish in 2018 including Kemono Friends, Little Witch Academia, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and Sakura Quest. There were many others I heard about during the year that I would like to give a try. I am optimistic about 2018 being a more positive year overall while acknowledging the continuing potential of major tragedies and global strife.
To aid in reflecting on the past 12 months, I’m borrowing nine questions Lauren used in her year-end post at Otaku Journalist. Continue reading
Ever tried a new type of candy? The wrapper makes it sound interesting, so you get it, and, upon gulping it down, were disappointed in that it wasn’t what it seemed? I mean, it’s an OK candy, but you were expecting more or something else. My sad little tale explains everything right and wrong with “Dagashi Kashi”. Now, to make things even more convoluted, this is one of those Japanese language puns. If you pronounce it as ’Dagashi Kashi’ it means ‘cheap sweets candy’, but if read or said as ‘Daga Shikashi’, it can also mean ‘however’. The show is like that. Continue reading
Every year, one show comes out that is completely head and shoulders above the rest of the offerings. The only thing wrong with “Boku Dake ga Inai Machi”, (“The Town Where Only I am Missing”, also known as “Erased”) is the capsule description that came with it (“Satoru Fujinuma is a struggling manga artist who has the ability to turn back time and prevent deaths.”) A show lives or dies by the capsule and this one sank it low on my ‘must see’ list. Thank goodness that it was next in line when a slack period came around or I may have missed out on something tremendous. Continue reading
This is seriously one of the weirdest ninja shows I have seen since “Senran Kagura”, but with unprecedented levels of fan service and that one was burgeoning with it. And I mean off the charts direction of fan service. Can you have too much fan service? OK, the correct term for a female ninja should be ‘kunoichi’, but no one knows that, whereas everyone understands ‘ninja’.
“Manyū Hiken-chō” (“Magic Breast Secret Sword Scroll“) relates a tale of ancient Japan…well, a different Japan than you have seen in the history books. In a reign ruled by the Tokugawa Shogunate (although it ran from about 1600 to 1870, let’s date this around 1840 or so), big breasts mean everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Those who have huge breasts are guaranteed wealth and popularity. The women who lack them are not considered even human, more like pathetic wretches. Continue reading
Chisato while drinking a “Zoom” cocktail
I’ve previously written about my love of short-episode anime series and my current week-to-week favorite is Love is Like a Cocktail (aka Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara). Its episodes are three minutes long and feature Chisato Mizusawa, an employee at a public relations firm, drinking cocktails (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) at home made by her husband Sora.
This is a gritty crime drama, set out in a town that is ruled by crime lords, so everyone is miserable all the time. It emotionally rains every day and life is very cheap. Welcome to “Gangsta” (“Gyangusuta”).
We are in the town of Ergastulum. It is not truly identified as such, but it had a Mediterranean feel to it, almost Italian. We follow the lives of two ‘handymen’, Nicolas Brown (far left) and Worick Arcangelo (right next to him). Many years ago, Worick had Nic as a personal bodyguard, but when Worick’s father stubbed out a lit cigarette in his eye (you did notice the eye patch, right?), Nic dispatched the family and they both went underground. You see, Nic is ‘special’.
He is known as a ‘Twilight’, a person with superhuman abilities, gained from the drug Celebrer. He is deaf and uses sign language to communicate, but reads lips well. They are dispatched to clean up the dirty jobs that a lot of the other crime families won’t even touch. The two ladies? At the far end is Alex Benedetto (Ally) who was working as a prostitute, but is saved by the two guys (she plied her trade in the alley just across from their office/apartment) not only from her life, but from her abusive pimp. The little girl is Nina and works for Dr. Theo, one of those back-alley doctors who patches up people after the rather numerous battles and helps get the Twilights their Celebrer.
The series details their lives in this gritty town and the machinations in place that seem bent on eliminating all the Twilights. Continue reading