12 Days 2014 Day 9 – Challenging Mt. Fuji (Encouragement of Climb Season 2)

Encouragement of Climb was probably my favorite short-episode anime series of 2013 so I was excited to see its second season with longer episodes and double the amount as well (24 fifteen-minute episodes compared to 12 four-minute ones in the first season). Unfortunately, there was a licensing issue that complicated Crunchyroll’s simulcasting of the show following episode 1 but that got cleared up in late October with the previously unreleased episodes being added all at once and new episodes were released on a regular schedule once again.

One main arc that played out in the first half of the season involved the four main girls attempting to climb Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan.

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12 Days 2014 (Late) Day 8 – Space Dandy’s Episodic & Musical Variety

Space Dandy was an interesting experiment in broadcasting with English dub episodes premiering on North American cable before their respective Japanese airings. It was also a showcase for different animation directors & writers and that led to varying visual and storytelling styles over the course of its two seasons. I’ve only seen the whole first season and the first episode of the second but I do intend to finish the rest of the series next month, especially after seeing Scamp of the Cart Driver include 4 episodes from season 2 among his 10 favorite Dandy episodes.

The soundtracks for each season featured a range of artists including Taku Takahashi (previously contributed tracks to Panty & Stocking‘s OST), headline composer Yoko Kanno, KenKen, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro, OGRE YOU ASSHOLE and many others.

12 Days 2014 (Late) Day 7 – Seeing the Kotoura-san Manga Get Translated

Last year, I started watching the Kotoura-san anime and fell off after 7 episodes. I liked much of its humor – I just moved on to watching other things.

When I saw that DMP had started publishing the original manga by enokids through its Digital Manga Guild imprint in May, I bought the first three volumes as they were released that month through their eManga site (those three are also currently available through the Kindle Store: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3). Further volumes have not been put out yet – there are six collected volumes so far in Japan.
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12 Days 2014 (Late) Day 6 – An Entertainingly Distracting Classmate (Tonari no Seki-kun)

Tonari no Seki-kun was a pleasure to watch over the course of 21 weekly seven-minute episodes.

There’s not much I want to say about it other than I laughed a lot at Yokoi’s reactions to what her classmate Seki was doing at his own desk, I’m looking forward to Vertical Comics’ January release of the manga’s first volume, and I would recommend at least giving the first couple episodes a try if you haven’t seen the show already – it’ll only take about 15 minutes of your time.

12 Days 2014 (Late) Day 5 – A One-Episode Character Romance (Sailor Moon)

When Viz brought back the original Sailor Moon anime this year, I started watching it because I’d never seen it before. Anime-original episode 6 had a music-focused plot that stuck with me.

Jadeite’s minion Kyurene tries to use a cassette tape in a broadcast studio to steal life energy from people but the tape gets mixed up with a demo recording made by jazz pianist Yusuke Amade. Yusuke is in love with Akiko Yanagi, a record company employee that he sees often, and when she gets taken hostage by Kyurene, he and Usagi/Sailor Moon work together to rescue Akiko from danger.

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12 Days 2014 (Late) Day 4 – Experiencing Manga Nostalgia Through Blue Blazes

Honoo and Kishimoto fondly remembering Susume!! Pirates.

Blue Blazes (Aoi Honoo) was a fun J-drama series to watch during the second half of 2014 and part of my enjoyment – apart from the reaction faces by main character Honoo – came from seeing references to what are now “classic” manga and anime series.

There are many scenes of characters reading Shonen Sunday, Big Comic and other manga magazines, numerous mentions of Mitsuru Adachi and his storytelling & character design traits, and particular manga scenes are displayed on screen at times with voice overs reading the panels’ dialogue. Also, Honoo aspires to become a professional manga author so he often thinks about how to create a popular manga by trying to combine genres and/or character types.

The title of this post is sort of deceptive because I wasn’t around when the series takes place (1980-1981) so I don’t think I can really have nostalgia for Yamato, Urusei Yatsura or Touch.