2018 was a long year for me. I moved to another city and started law school. The Winter Olympics happened in South Korea and the FIFA (men’s) World Cup happened in Russia, but unfortunately, I don’t recall much of what transpired in either of those sports competitions other than the U.S. women’s hockey team winning an Olympic gold medal over Canada and France winning the World Cup.
New anime series I watched most during the year included Pop Team Epic, gdgd Men’s Party, Takunomi., Laid-Back Camp, Crossing Time, Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood., and Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san. You might notice the majority of those are slice-of-life comedies or series with short episodes.
I also watched many older anime series and movies with a group that I likely would not have watched on my own: Genesis of Aquarion, Simoun, Crest of the Stars, Mononoke, the first season of Minami-ke, the 1985 Night on the Galactic Railroad movie, the 1979 Galaxy Express 999 movie, and the Birdy the Mighty OVA series as well as re-watching Beck, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and Ouran High School Host Club. (You can read more about some of these in the “Check-In” posts I wrote earlier in the year.)
There were many buzzy new series I didn’t get to last year that I’d like to sample this month, particularly A place further than the universe, Cells at Work!, Darling in the FRANXX, FLCL: Progressive and FLCL: Alternative, Golden Kamuy, Hinamatsuri, Planet With, Wotakoi, and Zombie Land Saga. Add that to the unwatched and unfinished series carried over from 2017 & earlier and I suppose I don’t have an excuse if I claim I’ve got nothing to watch.
The day after watching this year’s Oscars ceremony, I was still thinking about the romanticism that was expressed for motion pictures during it, particularly the opening musical number involving host Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick and Jack Black.
My mind wandered to an anime character who loves watching movies, from a series I watched years ago – Megumi Momono from Mahoraba. Megumi has many DVDs in her room at Narutaki-sou. In episode 11 of the anime, she spends a day with main character Ryushi in a shopping district and they see a movie together, which reminds her of seeing films with her boyfriend. We find out that her boyfriend went overseas for cinema studies.
I have the first four volumes of the manga but I haven’t read much of it so I don’t know if Megumi and her boyfriend see each other again in person or what kind of send-off/wrap-up she has at the end of the manga.
I don’t consider myself a cinephile or a film expert but I do want to watch more movies and dive deeper into older ones to expand my visual culture literacy.
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.