Favourite anime of 2015

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It is that time of the year when anime seasons are wrapping up, and we can look back on those series we liked, and those we did not. There have been a number of surprises this year, along with many disappointments. I have not been blogging much lately for a variety of reasons, but fully intend to start writing on a regular basis with the next season. For now I will simply go through my favourite anime of 2015, in no particular order. This is partly because I am not a fan of ordered lists – I may like a number of series equally, but for a variety of different reasons for example – I also couldn’t reduce it to a mere ten series.  Read more of this post

Behind the Façade: Hibike Euphonium and the Pressures of School Life

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Hibike Euphonium provides us with a snapshot of school life, and the ordinary, everyday workings of an afterschool club and those who are a part of it. We are given the opportunity to look at how complicated a social group this club is, and the myriad different attitudes, ideals, and ideas that something apparently as simple as playing in a concert band can be. Like most anime, the afterschool club is a focal point for all the drama, human interactions, problems, tensions, and character growth. Rather than examination and studying – although we can assume they still exist – these characters are preoccupied with their club. Some may continue to participate out of force of habit, others may be very serious about their club, and there are also those who may simply have nothing better to do, and had to join a club anyway. The school space within anime like Hibike Euphonium remains central to character development, acting as the focal point for all of their hopes and worries, and serving as the one space where they are capable of exploring new ideas and approaches to life, seemingly without worry. Read more of this post