Mouretsu Pirates 21 – Reputation is what you make of it


 

It has been hinted upon since the very beginning of the series, but at last we see concrete proof that despite her apparent easy life, Marika is being constantly watched. But more than this, we see that her life is in fact almost always in constant danger, with numerous groups envious of her current position. This helps to demonstrate that while Marika may be famous and the captain of what we are told is a very well known pirate ship, the world of pirates is not quite as rosy as their performances might suggest. Last weeks episode had an excellent example, with numerous powerful individuals, apparently from Umi no Akeboshi talking about their current protection deal involving Marika. Read more of this post

Sankarea 08 – Living the life of a normal girl?


One of the desires that Rea has made abundantly clear over the course of this series is her wish to be capable of living life as a normal girl, being able to go shopping with friends and enjoying those little things in life that her father had denied her. Her first meeting with Chihiro happened when she was trying escape from her father, her screaming down the abandoned well can be viewed as a way of releasing stress, getting her feelings, her fears and her anxieties out in the open. It is in a sense a way with which she can push her feelings into something else, an empty void that will swallow up all the problems in her life. But at the same time, there was an empty quality in this since she returned night after night; there was no end to her torment, her fears and her anxieties. Read more of this post

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 07 – Hatred, Fear, Anxiety and Jealousy


Over the course of the series the mysteries surrounding Yuuko have grown ever darker and more elaborate, painting a picture of something terrible and disturbing, while at the same time telling us very little about Yuuko herself. She remains an enigma, a ghost who presents us with a brilliant smile, someone who is almost always happy and continuously pulls pranks on Niiya and Okonogi. However, as Kirie points out, Yuuko’s ever happy, ever smiling presence is abnormal, not because she is a ghost, but because she does not get angry, as if she is incapable of doing so. That is not to say that Yuuko is perfect, far from it, she is as imperfect as anyone else, but instead of showing her emotions, there appears to be a barrier for her. Read more of this post

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Revisited


Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon was a series that many people either ignored or dismissed as ridiculous, with an incomprehensible plot to anyone who had not read the light novels upon which it is based. I quite enjoyed this series, but I am also suggested that it was little more than a guilty pleasure, yet again quoting the idea of a plot that did not make much sense along with other elements that at the time may have felt forced. However, I was curious to see if my views of the series while holding an element of truth were perhaps heavily influenced by the wider opinion of this series when it aired. I decided to revisit it, watch it again and see whether or not it was still a guilty pleasure, and generally speaking I think that the series is substantially better that I and many others initially suggested. I also think that there was a substantial element of cultural fundamentalism in the dismissal of this series as just another light novel adaptation, as if adapting a light novel automatically means that the series will be bad. Read more of this post

Mouretsu Pirates 20 – Ride the winds of change


Throughout this series we have seen Marika come across various problems and issues, many of them are large, but there are also those of a smaller, more personal nature. When it came to the larger problems, Marika could rely on her friends and crew to do what was necessary in order to overcome whatever challenge lay ahead. However, for the more personal issues, she only has herself to work out what is necessary and what she needs to do. This week once again presented Marika with something new to think about, not a problem per se, but still something incredibly important and essential to her life as a pirate. Read more of this post

Sankarea 07 – The other side


Ranko is a character that has been underused for the majority of the first half of this series, or at least has not featured quite as prominently as Rea. For the most part the reasons for this are obvious, the series itself is centred on Rea and her relationship with Chihiro as a zombie, however, and Ranko has been there to provide some much needed drama and a change of direction when necessary. She is a fascinating character, strong willed, but also very shy and almost incapable of telling Chihiro how she feels about him. She is the character who understands Chihiro the best, having met him and been with him for many years, and this episode provided some interesting flashbacks into their lives together. Read more of this post

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 06 – When stories go out of control


Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is a series about stories and the power that they have over other people, often twisting their sense of reality and making it seem that the normal world is actually akin to hell on earth. We have learned numerous stories involving Yuuko; almost all of them appear to describe her as some malign spirit, always after a new target, attempting to either extract vengeance for her death, or simply being vindictive to those who are currently alive. The truth of course is very different, with Yuuko acting more like a playful poltergeist than a malign spirit. In a sense this helps to demonstrate the irony of Yuuko’s existence, and how the stories about her have twisted and changed over time, turning her into something terrible and frightening. Read more of this post

Hyouka and Fantasy in the Everyday


Mysteries are just stories that have, through the passage of time and retelling changed and been shaped by those that have told then, becoming something fascinating, amazing, and captivating. Mysteries are an element of the fantastical in the everyday life, bringing an element of a fantasy world, with strange wonders into the normal, perhaps boring life that many may believe they live. The mysteries in Hyouka can be viewed as inconsequential, however, they all wonderfully crafted and told, creating images and feelings of fear, but also wonder, amazement and awe. The Book Club brings colour to a grey world, bringing fantasy to the reality of their school lives and showing us that with a little bit of imagination the most humdrum thing in life can become something amazing, extravagant and beautiful. Read more of this post

Mouretsu Pirates 19 – Bonds and Friendship


Throughout this series various characters have gathered around Marika, she is an excellent captain with a certain charm and charisma that draws everyone to her, be they friend or foe. But, while she may be able to make on the spot decisions, along with having an excellent tactical mind, she is not perfect, far from it in fact. While she may be brilliant at bringing the best out of her crew, Marika has a terrible tendency to try and do things on her own. This is perhaps related to her wish to stand shoulder to shoulder with her mother Ririka as someone who is strong, capable and kind, unfortunately this can lead to trouble and the consequences that follow. Read more of this post

Sankarea 06 – The bare necessities of life is all you need


One of the intriguing things about Sankarea is Chihiro’s zombie fetish, or more accurately, how his zombie fetish isn’t as bad as some people may think. At first we are shown quite explicitly that Chihiro wants a zombie girlfriend, and that he doesn’t seem to view normal humans as worth him time. But over the past six episodes it has become clear that while Chihiro may have an obsession with zombies, that isn’t all there is to his life. He has a family that he cares about greatly, and of course there is Rea, someone who he has grown attached to over the course of the series so far. Chihiro cares for Rea and for her health and safety not necessarily because she is now a zombie, but because he has seen a girl who is deeply hurt and scarred by her family life. She had nowhere else to go, and perhaps Chihiro feels responsible for her turning into a zombie, as demonstrated by his narration during the beginning of the series. Read more of this post