Ano Natsu de Matteru – The unforgettable summer

Ano Natsu de Matteru was a series that I had looked forward to since hearing about it, being a romantic comedy, a genre which I am quite fond of. Seeing the people involved, including those behind the Onegai Franchise (writer Kuroda Yousuke, producer Ogura Mitsutoshi), along with the director of AnoHana and Toradora (Nagai Tatsuyuki) gave the impression that this would be a brilliant romance that was worth watching. Of course, as other anime with strong teams behind them have demonstrated (Guilty Crown), this did not mean that it was going to be perfect. Of course, that was not the case, and Ano Natsu de Matteru exceeded my expectations, producing a story that was beautiful to watch, full of emotional depth, great characters and a well-written story. Read more of this post

Accel World First Impressions – The little piggy goes ‘squee’

It has been a long time since the last anime that explored the virtual world, in fact the last I can remember was probably a .hack series, and there hasn’t been one of those for a few years at least. Such series can be quite interesting, and since they are both set in the real world and the virtual world of video games, online chat rooms and much more they naturally open themselves up to all manner of weird and wonderful goings on. Something that is immensely appealing about them, since they can incorporate elements of fantasy and science fiction, while still being rooted in the real world. Read more of this post

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 03 – The eyes may see what the mind does not believe

Yuko’s existence is one of misunderstandings, isolation, ignorance and the pain of never truly knowing if she exists or what she looks like. Niiya helps to validate her existence through their constant interactions, and yet, there is an element of uncertainty that is stuck in the mind of Yuuko. It is as if Yuuko is afraid of her own existence, and the numerous ghost stories involving her name further demonstrate how, to the rest of the student body, she is a being of anguish, hatred and death. But more than that, it is something that has taken on a life of its own, completely changing the way, not only the people who attend the school think about Yuuko, but also the way she thinks about herself.  Read more of this post

Mouretsu Pirates 16 – Piracy as performance

It has become abundantly that piracy in the Mouretsu Pirates universe has two distinct sides. On the one hand we have piracy as a performance, with pirate ships and crews employed to fulfil the role of an in ship performance, giving many people a chance to see something new and exciting. On the other hand, however, pirates are on the fringes of lawful society, taking jobs that may be illegal, dangerous and potential life threatening. That they can exist within these two opposing worlds shows the versatility and adaptability of those that call themselves pirates. Read more of this post

The role of female characters in anime – does it create or maintain inequality?

 This is a more in-depth look at ideas of womens inequality in Japanese society in relation to anime, partly based on my own research and studies. Also, this is a partial argument, the post is a condensed version of a longer article that I have recently written, and unfortunately I have left out a lot of material in order to make it work as a blog post. I will likely add more posts over time looking at other aspects of this topic.

There has been a significant amount of discussion on ideas surrounding whether or not anime is inherently sexist with its portrayals of female characters along with the whole notion of ecchi and fanservice. In general I don’t believe that anime is inherently sexist, however, this post will not be looking at this, rather it seeks to explore ideas of women’s inequality in Japanese society and how this relates to female characters in anime. Women in Japan either socially or in employment do not have true equality. We see this in social terms with reference to ideas of a woman’s place in society, associated with domestic work, cleaning, cooking, childcare and generally looking after the household. Read more of this post

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 02 – Isolation and the fear of being abandoned

To be alone must be terrible, but to be alone without truly understanding why your alone, must be even worse. Yuuko has to live with the knowledge that she is dead, yet does not know why and how she died, furthermore, she does not even know anything about her life anymore. It is a terrible loneliness, one that must add a crushing weight to her existence, and something that she clearly questions even when there is evidence that she, as a person, or a being does in fact exist in this reality. Yuuko’s reality is one of uncertainty, she has no knowledge of her past, and her future is one of loneliness, and as far as it is possible to tell potential dispair. It is this fear of being left alone, and forgotten that drives Yuuko to approach and interact with Niiya. Read more of this post

Sankarea 03 – Death becomes her

There is a surreal irony in Sanka Rea’s life; that she comes from a wealthy family, has had a privileged childhood in many ways, and due to her looks, status and abilities is viewed as a true ‘ojou-sama’. And yet, she is miserable, cursing her life, cursing her family and viewing death as her only escape; it is this juxtaposition between the realities of her life and what her social status is mean to portray that make her such a fascinating character. Especially with regards to Chihiro, and to a lesser extent Ranko, neither of whom are from privileged backgrounds, and yet, both of them to enjoy themselves while living life to its fullest. Read more of this post

Eureka Seven AO First Impressions – Looks like the Scub Coral is at it again

Eureka Seven was a spectacular series, beautifully animated with a fascinating story set in a world that was both realistic while also being strange, bizarre and amazing. It was a series, which showed Bones at the exuberant best, with colorful backgrounds, great flight sequences, surfing in the sky and a fascinating story. It was however a deeply flawed series, one that hard grand ambitions which often meant that the show veered off course, and became a pretentious mess at times. Read more of this post

Sakamichi no Apollon – A love letter to jazz

There is something truly evocative about music, it has an ability to conjure up images of the past, inspire us and drive out imaginations. While not all music can have the same effect on us, there is still something about the medium itself that continues to move people’s hearts and minds, creating new friendships, reaffirming old ones and creating strong and lasting links between individuals and groups. Sakamichi no Apollon captures this beauty almost perfectly, it demonstrates that no matter what differences there may be between people there will always by the commonality of music, it also touched me in quite a deep and specific way, largely because of the jazz theme. Read more of this post

Kore wa zombie desu ka? Of the dead First Impressions – Now 100% cuter

Oh Kore wa Zombis desu ka, how I missed you and your gender-bending madness, it might be a ridiculous concept with many recycled jokes, but it does it so well there is no real need to change anything. This second season starts off in much the same way as the first, with Ayumu, Hellsythe, Seraphim and Haruna sitting down to breakfast. In fact the majority of the first half of this episode is given over to reintroducing the cast, along with all their little quirks and eccentricities. Read more of this post