Aldnoah.Zero – The Politics of Conquering


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The idea of rigging an event, perhaps creating a situation that would allow a country to go to war is hardly new. Both in anime and in real life, situations have been engineered in order to create the desired effect for one particular party, regardless of the consequences or collateral damage to others. The same is true in Aldnoah.Zero, although to anyone familiar with this sort of story, and indeed, the writing style of Urobuchi Gen such an occurrence will come as no great surprise. We are presented with two opposing factions (ala Gundam), the Vers Empire, a clearly evil, nationalistic, militaristic, fascist society that has strong views of its own superiority to those who live on earth, a somewhat weaker, and far more naïve faction that seems doomed to destruction. Read more of this post

Mekakucity Actors – Creativity just got Shafted


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What a chore it was to sit through this first episode, desperately trying to grasp the slights bit of meaning and enjoyment from an experience that made me wonder if I wasn’t just watching a series from 2010. This remains the general feeling I have when watching anime from Shaft, that studio with an inexplicably large fan base – well, the Monogatari franchise is likely one reason – but has effectively released the same anime every season (at least those they have produced work for) since 2010. Even with this feeling I went into Mekakucity Actors knowing very little about the series, and wanting to enjoy it, wanting to find that one series by Shaft that dispels my worries, my annoyance, and my boredom for good, unfortunately this did not happen. Read more of this post

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – It’s a bit like the real world, but with magic


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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei has to be one of the most hyped anime of the season, with fans of the light novel series proclaiming it as the best thing since sliced bread, and a truly wonderful piece of storytelling. Now while I have absolutely no knowledge of the actual story, the light novels, or any idea of what to expect I have to say that such claims are stretching things a little. Which is not to say that the first episode wasn’t enjoyable, introducing a main character who seems to be rather over-powered in much the same vein as Izayoi from Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo, although in the case of Tatsuya, rather than flaunt his (apparently) extraordinary gifts he is forced to hide them due to the nature of the society he lives in, and likely pressures from his family. Read more of this post

Selector Infected WIXOSS – A mash-up of dark fantasy and card games


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This series got off to a relatively interesting start, introducing us to a world where a card game can bring your desires and dreams to life, providing you win of course. As premises go this one reminded me Yu Gi Oh, along with elements of Rozen Maiden, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, Black Rock Shooter, along with aspects of Angelic Layer. It seems a mash-up of these different series and their premises, with a world where darkness appears to be lurking just out of sight. Read more of this post

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – Inari meets, Inari


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Inari Konkon is a fascinating little series that introduces popular ideas of belief surrounding the Kami called Inari into a relatively light-hearted romantic comedy set in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. There are certain elements of the series that are of note, mostly related to the deity Inari and the various symbols and symbolism found within the series. Like a lot of anime there are aspects of Japanese society and culture that may be unfamiliar to people from other countries. These can come in the form of language used in certain situations, social, or cultural norms, and religious beliefs that may seem strange to visitors, but carry with them important meanings to those who take part. This is not unique to Japan of course, but is worth pointing out when watching, and exploring an anime that specifically focuses on a particular deity and the symbolism and beliefs that surround it. Read more of this post

Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda – Conquering the World, One Stabiliser at a Time


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When the idea of world conquest is brought up one generally thinks of historical empires from Rome to the British Empire, even through to the Japanese Empire and the Third Reich. These empires were a demonstration in ruling over the entire known world, or perhaps controlling major trade routes and supplies of material wealth. They certainly weren’t the complete totalitarian dictatorship over earth’s population that world conquest would entail, with such visions often confined to the pages of comic books and Bond villains. World conquest is therefore the domain of the criminally insane, utterly delusional comic book villain; the kind who thinks a hollowed out volcano makes for an excellent inconspicuous evil lair. Read more of this post

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren – The Complicated Nature of Chuunibyou


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As I discussed in previous posts about the first season of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, Chuunibyou is quite a complex term that encapsulates numerous ideas surrounding youth, adolescence and ones own imagination. At the very beginning of the first series there is a brief introduction to Chuunibyou, explaining that it is a complex idea, one that encompasses a variety of behaviour, and other social issues. What is interesting is that while there are clearly elements of the fantastical in Chuunibyou, with the role-playing of Rikka, Dekomori, Yuuta, and even Nibutani, it is also used to describe a far wider variety of ideas and behaviour. Read more of this post

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