Japan Trip – Week Four – Hokkaido


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This was a very busy week, with lots of new children arriving at the Nature School for a more adventure themed week long camp that would involve mountain climbing, spending a day on fishing boats, and ending with a more challenging two-day camp that was supposed to provide a sense of adventure for these children.  Read more of this post

Japan Trip – Week Three – Hokkaido


 

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Whereas the first week was a relatively quiet week, with some intense traveling at the beginning, and periods of activity throughout – including a couple of days to train the volunteers who had arrived, the second week has been very busy. The camp itself started off a little slowly as we waited for all of the children to arrive, and made sure that things were clean, and there were enough futons for everybody to sleep on. But once the children arrived things began in earnest, for a start they were completely full of energy – part excitement, part nervousness. There was the opening ceremony, explaining what rules and other little details about the camp, an icebreaking event completely with over the top Janken, and other silly games, a welcome party with slightly fancier food, and then the ‘Ichigei’, basically a chance for the staff to introduce themselves in the silliest, and most memorable way possible. Read more of this post

Japan Trip – Weeks One/Two – Hokkaido


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I had intended to write this over a week ago, but I have found little time to actually sit down and actually do it. My trip to Japan started as most trips do, walking through airports, and sitting in airplane seats that are just that little bit too small too be truly comfy. It was quite a long journey as I took three planes in the end, two to get to Japan, and then a third from Osaka to Shin-Chitose in Hokkaido. I had intended to read or watch films, but found myself spending much of the time listening to music and sleeping.

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Rural Japan in Anime – Beautiful, Powerful, and the Root of Japanese Identity


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One aspect of anime that I find particularly interesting is the depiction, and use of the countryside. There are a number of series such as Durarara that focus exclusively on the big city, looking at under classes, dark dealings, and the more shadowy elements of society. But when a series is set in, or uses the countryside, we are often presented with a very different vision of Japan, especially if the series also focuses on school children (which a significant number of them do). Read more of this post

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Twenty Three – One Man’s War


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One Man’s War is a rather interesting title for this episode, although ‘Desler’s Madness’ might be more apt, because the vast Gamilas Empire and its attempts to conquer all within reach was ultimately the wish of a single man. Read more of this post

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Twenty Two – The Planet that We Head For


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This episode was the continuation of themes found in episode twenty-one, and represented a further chance to reflect on recent events, while also preparing for the inevitable final conflict with Desler. Read more of this post

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Twenty One – Prison Planet 17


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While I adore Yamato 2199’s action scenes and episodes, and would argue that it offers some of the best examples of spaceship and plane combat in anime, I find the more reflective moments far more interesting. They present us with the opportunity to reflect on previous episodes, and watch as the crew of the Yamato deal with their current situation, and the ever present threat of destruction at the hands of Gamilas. Read more of this post