Girls und Panzer – Review


shot0257Girls und Panzer is absolutely brilliant and sits as a perfect example of how even the most innocuous series can be turned into a veritable masterpiece with the right direction, writing and a truly engrossing story that has been created by a group of people who truly love classic war films and all they entail. I, like many others on twitter, was quick to laughingly and quite ironically proclaim this series to be the best of the season and perhaps the year just before it premiered. However, having sat through the gripping action, wonderful character development, and truly superb soundtrack it is safe to say that I can now, entirely un-ironically proclaim it to be a spectacular success. I have never really had any problems with the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ aspect of many anime, finding the ordinary, if rather romanticized portrayal of Japanese school life often charming and entertaining. What we find in Girls und Panzer however is an entirely different take on this well warn aspect of anime, and while it still has cute girls doing cute things, the constant presence of tanks and the important part that they play in life helps to subtly change the way this anime portrays the lives of school girls. Read more of this post

Grappling with notions of past, present and future in Kokurikozaka Kara


While Kokurikozaka Kara (From Up On Poppy Hill) is a coming-of-age drama about a girl learning to accept her past and move on to her future, there is far more to this film than just this. At the centre of Kokurikozaka Kara we have a story about the importance of recognising and understanding your past in order to live in the present and push forwards to a future. It deals with themes that are central to Japanese society, but are often ignored, or invoked in very specific contexts. The film is set in 1963 a year before the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, only two years after the dramatic student riots that have left an indelible mark on Japanese society and laws. It is a period of activism all around the world as well, with numerous people’s movements coming out in opposition to what they see as destructive or oppressive governments and leaders. That Kokurikozaka Kara is set during this period seems significant due to the reasons and nature of the student protests, along with the context within which our characters live. Read more of this post

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

Asobi ni Iku Yo! – A mixture of Nekomimi, catnip, and the miracles of Okinawa


Asobi ni Iku Yo (Let’s go play) is an anime released last year which is based on a light novel series by Okina Kamino and illustrated by Hoden Eizo. Read more of this post

Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari – The Harem to end all Harem’s, with added light-hawk wings


Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is the latest seires based on the Tenchi Muyo universe – this time however we do not see the main characters and the story is centered on Kenshi, Tenchi’s half-brother. Read more of this post

Emma A Victorian Romance – Love and Heartbreak in Victorian England


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Emma: A Victorian Romance (Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma) is a beautifully realised romantic story set in Victorian England and based upon the manga ‘Emma’ by artists Mori Kaoru. Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma is a classic romantic story about two people from different social backgrounds who fall in love and must struggle against society to be together. It has been used before, and in this particular case it is the story of the romance between William Jones, the eldest son of a wealthy merchant family attempting to break into the gentry class, and Emma, a poor, yet beautiful maid. Emma is a wonderful story, with animation that is muted, but also highly detailed and brilliant to look at, coupled with a truly wonderful story that is emotional, heart-rending, and a joy to watch makes for one of my favourite anime series.

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Najica Blitz Tactics – Girls, Guns, and Smooth Jazz


Najica Blitz Tactics is a series that originally aired in 2001, and is one of a collection of fanservice orientated anime series based around a strong female lead. It also has a jazz soundtrack, which automatically makes it cool.

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