The Unjust system in Wizard Barristers – Benmashi Cecil


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It should be obvious to anyone who has watched Wizard Barristers so far that the justice system created to deal with crimes involving wizards is inherently unjust. Rather than trying to find the cause of problems and deal with them in the correct manner, what we have seen suggests that this system was created for the sole purpose of punishing those with special powers and abilities. The first time we see the magic courtroom and the systems put in place to deal with magical crime at work it is strikingly obvious how unfair the whole thing is. The attitudes displayed in episode one with regards to magicians are reminiscent of the American justice system where defendants are considered guilty and must demonstrate their innocence. Wizards brought before this special court are assumed to be guilty – and some of them are – but instead of taking a balanced view on the issue, it is up to the Wizard Barristers to provide conclusive evidence of innocence, often against overwhelming odds. Read more of this post

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren 02/03 – Different kinds of relationships


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Throughout Chuunibyou’s first series the central relationship between Rikka and Yuuta was always highly unorthodox. Rikka’s wild delusions played an obvious role in their relationship, making it difficult for them to have the sort of relationship that we would consider to be normal. However, it was a wonderful relationship to watch, switching between slapstick comedy and cute teen romance, with a hint of the imaginary thrown in for good measure. The notion of a ‘normal’ romance isn’t even discussed, or mentioned in this first series, as it arguably doesn’t matter what sort of relationship they have. But, Yuuta was, and remains an important part of Rikka life, not least because he was able to help her come to terms with the death of her father, and realise that despite everything, her Chuunibyou was not a disease, or mental problem, but was merely a part of her childhood and one of the main ways she approaches the world.  And by accepting these simple facts we can see why Rikka’s Chuunibyou personality has remained even after the facts about her fathers death have come to light and been acknowledged. Read more of this post

Comedy, Carnivalesque, and the Naked Body in Anime: Why the issue of ‘Fanservice’ is more complex than it first appears


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Japanese culture has long been viewed as a curiosity, from the period of European colonialism when The Orient was a place of exotic otherness, to modern day society where Japanese popular culture is viewed as extreme, perhaps hedonistic, as opposed to the more refined tastes of the west. When viewing anime, it is possible to see how it, as a cultural medium, promotes an orientalist view of Japan with its astonishing visuals, along with the numerous exotic and strange creatures and creations. Part of the exoticism within anime is the explicit use of nudity, and more revealing situations where male and female characters are seen in their underwear, or in a more exposed, even fetishistic light. 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

Hoozuki no Reitetsu – The Mundane Lives of Bureaucrats


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One would think that being a denizen of hell could be quite entertaining for those inclined towards sadism, perhaps masochism, and a love of fine barbeques. Not so for Hoozuki, aide to the Great King Yama, his life is full of endless paperwork and the ever-present problem of being understaffed and over-crowded. Hell is simply overflowing with spirits either coming for a short break, or taking their time and enjoying the various tortures available, enough for a true connoisseur. Hoozuki is more a bureaucrat stuck in middle management than a devil, someone who has to make sure the wheels of hell turn efficiently and everything works properly. Read more of this post

Nobunaga the Fool – Who needs Historical Continuity Anyway?


vlcsnap-2014-01-07-17h54m49s27There are numerous anime series and films which take the historical past and twist it around certain ideas and concepts, adding steampunk aesthetics, robots, and even swapping the gender of important, and famous historical figures. Nobunaga the Fool does just this, splitting the world in two in a way that reminded me a little of  Aquarion Evol, although at the moment one of the worlds isnt trying to abduct the women of the other. What is particularly interesting about this setting is its ability to have numerous historical figures appear at the same time (although Jeanne d’arc did live about 100 years before Oda Nobunaga, so there are certain liberties taken) on worlds that are both similar, and different to the historical past. We also have an injection of Kawamori style madness that manages to take the grand, the incidental, and the plain silly, putting them together into something immensely entertaining.

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